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Lootok Resiliency Summit: The best risk managers don’t do it alone

Three must-know lessons from my last business continuity site visit

How can I ensure our internal stakeholders are properly trained on risk management? How can I make sure the quality of plans is consistent within a global organization? How do I get people to care when they’re facing limited resources, budget, and time?

This is what every global risk, crisis, and security leader asks—and they’re disappointed when I tell them there aren’t easy answers. There’s no magic pill that transforms someone into a thoughtful continuity planner or an informed risk management advocate. The fact is, it takes time to educate and train stakeholders on important initiatives, and effort to establish the processes and protocol that facilitate consistency. It also may mean giving people dedicated time (especially if they’re strapped for time already) to devote towards proper training and development.

For Lootok’s managed services clients, this dedicated time can take the form of a “Resiliency Summit,” or what’s essentially a two-day internal conference. We design each summit purposefully for the organization, taking into account their specific context and program goals. While the planning that goes into a summit is no small investment, clients have consistently asked us to organize these summits for over the past decade. Here’s why:

1. Efficiency, efficiency, efficiency.

If you’re in charge of a global program, you’re likely familiar with the challenge of how best to spread the expertise of your team across company sites. Many companies assign a liaison to coordinate program efforts for a site or region. It’s often the case, however, that these individuals lack subject matter expertise; managing risk is not their day job. That’s why it’s critical to support them with training opportunities, so they can acquire the skills and knowledge they need to facilitate program efforts at a local level.

But how do you do this? Anything longer than a 60-minute webinar doesn’t inspire people to turn on their cameras and go off mute. Your team members can travel to every site to conduct training in person, or better yet, you can invite these site representatives to come to you. This allows you to train the masses in a single venue, or in several strategic locations around the globe.

Spending two days together means we’re able to cover a large amount of material for attendees to get up to speed in their role. Topics covered have ranged from execution-specific “how-to” tactics to more foundational lessons in crisis management. Beginner and advanced tracks allow participants to cherry pick the sessions most relevant for their level of expertise, so they can make the best use of their time.

2. It elevates local roles in risk management.

With technology that enables us to work remotely, business travel is becoming less common these days. But for global organizations, there’s a price to pay: it’s difficult to share learnings and facilitate meaningful exchanges across countries and regions.

A summit is more than just a forum for networking—it also creates a shared group experience for these site representatives who you’re relying on to carry out risk management responsibilities. It builds a community for these people, many of whom have been “nominated” for this additional responsibility. It’s key that we support them to become program advocates and champion activities at their site. Otherwise, risk management will always be a mandate and adoption will never occur organically.

Bringing these representatives to physically gather for an event dedicated to risk management gives their role the gravitas it deserves. Telling someone to fill out a business continuity plan with minimal context and tools signals to them that business continuity is a low priority; that all they need to do is to “get it done.” Providing attendees the time and resources to participate in an in-person experience gives them the headspace to consider their additional responsibility seriously and as an opportunity for professional development. Their time spent in learning about why they are gathered and how to manage program activities at a site level demonstrates to them that the company values their role, and that they are not alone in shouldering this task.

3. Expertise is only achieved through experience.

Truly effective learning experiences do not involve simply talking at people and pushing knowledge. Rather, value is derived from the discussions we have with colleagues from other offices and insights that are sparked as we interact and apply new concepts.

At summits, we offer both instructive training (e.g., best practices for filling out plan templates) as well as simulated experiences (e.g., crisis management scenarios) that challenge attendees to work together in solving a problem. In doing so, they develop expertise, the unwritten knowledge gained through experience and through applying knowledge to different situations. Working together through incident scenarios gives them practice in critical thinking skills and decision-making techniques, as well as the know-how to facilitate these exercises on their own and enable other teams.

Interested in learning more about summits, contact us to continue the conversation.

Enjoy – Sean

Lootok is an industry leader in crisis management and business continuity. Contact us to assess, enhance, or manage your crisis management and/or business continuity program(s).

Sean Murphy Lootok, Ltd. 228 Park Ave South #25440 New York, New York 10003 e: sean@lootok.com p: +1 917.749.6857 f: +1 866.866.9985 skype: sean.lootok