Increasing complexity means that business continuity professionals need to rethink some of the paradigms of the practice, says Geary Sikich.
Business continuity professionals need to rethink some of the paradigms of the practice. All too often we tend to fall back on what are considered the tried and true ways of doing things. This essentially leaves us in two camps; the first, evolved out of information technology and disaster recovery and the second, evolved out of emergency preparedness (tactical planning), financial risk management (operational) and strategic planning (strategic). These two camps each offer much to be desired. The first, having renamed disaster recovery and calling it business continuity still retains a strong focus on systems continuity rather than true business continuity; but this is not a bad thing. The second, has begun a forced merger of sorts; combining the varied practices at three levels (tactical, operational and strategic) and renaming it enterprise risk management (ERM). The second group still retains strong perspectives on risk management; that is why I have divided it into the three sub-groups (tactical, operational and strategic).
Complexity, in effect, is changing the business continuity paradigm. Complexity cannot be solved with a dependence on only mathematics. Complexity also cannot be solved with just intuition. There is a balance that has to be developed between the two in order to get a perspective on risk, threat, hazard, consequence and business impact. As you assess, you have to start mapping the complexity that evolves out of the identification of a risk, threat, hazard, etc. You need to think in three dimensions: strategic, operational and tactical. Each feeds into the others and gives you a list of issues that you can relate to the identified risk, threat, hazard, etc.
See Is it time to rethink business continuity? by Geary Sikich for Continuity Central.
About the author
Geary Sikich, entrepreneur, consultant, author and business lecturer, is a seasoned risk management professional who advises private and public sector executives to develop risk buffering strategies to protect their asset base. With a M.Ed. in Counseling and Guidance, Geary’s focus is human capital: what people think, who they are, what they need and how they communicate. With over 25 years in management consulting as a trusted advisor, crisis manager, senior executive and educator, Geary brings unprecedented value to clients worldwide.
Geary is well-versed in contingency planning, risk management, human resource development, ‘war gaming,’ as well as competitive intelligence, issues analysis, global strategy and identification of transparent vulnerabilities. Geary began his career as an officer in the US Army after completing his BS in Criminology. As a thought leader, Geary leverages his skills in client attraction and the tools of LinkedIn, social media and publishing to help executives in decision analysis, strategy development and risk buffering. A well-known author, his books and articles are readily available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the Internet.