Written by Doug Henderson on December 14, 2011 in Books, Business Continuity.
The fundamental purpose of Business Continuity is to sustain and/or rapidly resume operations after a crisis event. Local, regional and global crisis events and disasters (an extreme crisis event) do occur with alarming frequency. Local and regional disasters can directly impact operations. Disasters in distant locations can disrupt essential global supply chains affecting many thousands of businesses and organizations.
There certainly exists a need for businesses and other organizations to maintain their revenue stream. In addition to business operational resilience, a comprehensive business continuity management program will also address life safety, environmental, asset protection, brand protection and other activities that are important to all organizations. Despite all of these reasons, business continuity is not generally offered in a required course dedicated to business continuity in the college business management curriculum.
There are professional organizations and businesses that offer programs in business continuity for practitioners in a post-graduate setting. Many of these programs offer professional credentials. In addition to formal courses, there are books on business continuity for the individual practitioner. The success of these post-graduate programs and books attest to the need for business continuity expertise by businesses and other organizations. This need is not being fulfilled by higher education systems.
The typical college business management curriculum will offer courses in accounting, business law and a wide range of subjects that are important for the business management student. The accounting classes are not intended to make the student a CPA and the business law classes are not intended to make the student a lawyer. However, these courses are designed to provide the business management student with a working understanding of these important subjects as they relate to a business. Why is business continuity not included in the typical business management curriculum, at least on an optional basis, with these other business-important subjects?
On occasion, business continuity is taught, at least in some manner, within the field of risk management. However, the connection between business continuity and risk management may not be readily evident. Undoubtedly, components of business continuity such as supply chain disruptions are taught in supply chain management courses.
There is also overlap between business continuity and emergency management. Emergency management professionals must often interface with business professionals after a disaster. Yet most college-level emergency management programs do not offer a comprehensive course dedicated to business continuity.
The business continuity profession has only been in existence for just over 20 years and is relatively recently becoming a recognized profession. The fact that the business continuity profession is young probably best explains why business continuity courses are so uncommon in the typical college curriculum. Colleges and universities tend to be very traditional with new subjects not being readily adopted.
Another limiting factor is that until very recently, books on business continuity have been designed for the individual practitioner working in a business setting. These books are sometimes used in a college classroom but are not designed for a higher education course. The books are focused on the application of principles to a business professional rather than the teaching of principles to a student with little or no practical business experience. Typically, the books do not have comprehensive instructor resource materials and are thus not that user-friendly to the college professor.
Although I do not fully understand why the subject of business continuity is not a more common college course, I believe that this situation will be changing. The recognition of the importance of the business continuity profession is finally emerging and there is a demand for business continuity professional expertise.
- Douglas M. Henderson, FSA, CBCP
President, Disaster Management, Inc.
Port St Lucie, Florida
5 REASONS WHY YOU’LL WANT…
a great reference source and self-study guide
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Business Continuity and Risk Management:
Essentials of Organizational Resilience
By Kurt J. Engemann, PhD, CBCP and Douglas M. Henderson, FSA, CBCP
This new book is ideal for BCM practitioners seeking a…
- State of the art summation of the global body of knowledge for BCM, including current international standards and best practices.
- Flexible, modular design that allows you to customize a self-study plan: Ten chapters cover fundamental principles and practices; three chapters give greater detail on Information Technology and Emergency Management for those focusing in these areas; and four chapters delve into Risk Modeling for those seeking a foundation in the statistical underpinnings of risk management.
- Comprehensive training package for professional development classes, including instructor materials: test bank, syllabi, PowerPoint slides, and sample solutions to case studies, discussions, and end-of-chapter questions. Two of the case studies are integrated throughout the text to give practitioners, novices and students experience in applying chapter principles to a service company and a manufacturer.
- Holistic coverage of two interfacing fields: Business Continuity, which tends to deal with consequences, and Risk Management, which tends to be preventative. Both The Business Continuity Institute (BCI) and The Institute of Risk Management (IRM) have endorsed the book.
- Quick desk reference for your BCM team offering a readable blend of academic principles and practical applications—an effective tool for grounding interdepartmental teams learning to develop and maintain BC plans.
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“Given the importance of both Business Continuity and Risk Management in an increasingly risky world and their relative maturity as business disciplines, it is strange that little has been done to structure the subject in a way that is accessible to students and the wider academic community. Most relevant books and professional journals are targeted at either the professional practitioner or those with general interest in the topic. What has been missing is a college core textbook that covers the basic body of knowledge for aspiring students wishing to gain academic qualifications en route to a professional career in Business Continuity or Risk Management.
“This new book by Kurt Engemann and Douglas Henderson does much to redress this deficiency in our arsenal of published literature. Written at a level which is very comprehensive but still easily readable it provides a route-map through the terminologies, methodologies and philosophies of the subject….The Business Continuity Institute welcomes this book and wishes the authors well in their efforts to engage with both the business and academic communities in a language that both will understand.”
–Lyndon Bird, Technical Development Director, Board Member and Fellow since 1994, The Business Continuity Institute
“As our world becomes ever more turbulent the field of business continuity and risk management increases in importance, often warranting Board-level attention. Organizations must proactively prepare for the future by mitigating risk whilst managing uncertainty through well considered policies, procedures, structure, systems and business culture to react to potentially harmful events as they unfold. In this way, their survival is less likely to be threatened and it will be more likely that their goals will be attained. Too many times we have witnessed business disaster because an organization failed to fully recognize the importance of business continuity and risk management or simply adopted a piecemeal and unsystematic approach.
“Practitioners constantly emphasize the necessity of a holistic approach and I am pleased to see this new book by Kurt Engemann and Douglas Henderson does just that. It is also important to blend theory with practice in this hands-on field; again this is accomplished by the authors of this book who have extensive academic and business continuity and emergency management experience. They bring the subject to life with rich teaching and learning features, making it an essential read for students and practitioners alike.”
–Phil Kelly, DBA, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA), Fellow of the Institute of Risk Management (FIRM); Senior Lecturer, Liverpool (UK) Business School; Lead Examiner, Risk Decisions, The Institute of Risk Management (IRM)
“The book cements the notion that BCP professionals will achieve greater success if they collaborate with external resources. This is a book that will inform the novice, support the expert and enhance every business continuity planner’s efforts to create a resilient organization. The book is well organized as an instructional tool, a reference guide, and a toolkit for practitioners.
“Students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels will find what they need to build a strong foundation for business resiliency, regardless of the nature of the business career they seek. Adult learners, and those already BCP practitioners, will find solid support and proven practices to enhance and improve their work. Most of all, an executive, a student, or a practitioner who absorbs the content of this book will be better prepared to function in a field where preparedness is absolutely essential. Keep this book. It will serve you well in your education and practice.”
–Thomas D. Phelan, PhD, Program Director, Emergency and Disaster Management and Fire Science at American Public University System; Founding Member of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; member, Advisory Board of the Canadian Centre for Emergency Preparedness (CCEP)
“This book is a state-of-the-art addition to the field of business continuity management and allied subjects. It is difficult to write a book that serves both academia and practitioners, but the editors and contributors have accomplished this. Business Continuity and Risk Management provides a firm foundation for novices and a valuable reference for experienced professionals.”
–Mayer Nudell, Certified Security Consultant (CSC) and Adjunct Professor of Security Management, Webster University
Professors, curriculum coordinators:
and to request a complimentary evaluation copy.
Tags: academic, Business Continuity, college, course, education, university