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What I’ll probably do is…nothing

It was less than a year ago when Hurricane Irene swept across the Eastern Seaboard, invoking in us a mixture of responses ranging from apathy to panic. In this month’s Disaster Recovery Journal, Lootok examines common responses to Hurricane Irene, and what our actions can indicate about the way we manage problems in the home and in the workplace.

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Wrapping up another round of resiliency summits

The resiliency summit is a two-day event that we have organized to bring people together to learn about risk and business continuity in a focused, engaging setting. The attendees are typically folks who have been assigned to do business continuity at their specific site. Many of them step into the role unaware of their responsibilities or just learning about business continuity for the first time. Therefore, it’s common for companies to struggle with their programs because these individuals receive little or no training. This results in an overall lack of accountability and role ownership, which leads to a stagnant program. Our job is to bring these people on board, and to get them involved.

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2013 Resiliency Summit in Beijing

 

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Business continuity: your company’s immune system

Just as the human body relies on its immune system for internal protection, so too can corporations rely on a robust business continuity management program to protect them internally as well as externally. Not enough is being done to exploit the many benefits of an internally targeted BCM program. One of the cornerstones of any such program is a map of the company’s dependencies and interrelationships, which can be developed for strategic and operational planning purposes. This BCM map of departmental relationships can assist companies in optimally prioritizing their resources.

Hurricane Sandy
A visit to a chocolate factory

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Opinionating on the BP oil spill

The ramifications of what many consider to be the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history have been massive, tarnishing the image of an energy company claiming to go beyond petroleum and challenging leaders of the oil and gas industry to reconsider its approach to safety.  Since the oil rig’s initial explosion in April, BP has made serious missteps, causing the public to question the company’s credibility. 

Lootok interviewed a few of its subject matter experts to offer their insights on BP’s response to the incident through the lenses of crisis communications, enterprise risk management, and incident management.

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Solving problems through visual thinking

Lootok employees had the pleasure of spending two days in a private training session with Dan Roam, author of the groundbreaking book, “Back of the Napkin.” Particularly for those of us consultant types who find nothing more exhilarating than expounding on their findings in a 30 page report, Dan’s methods help subject matter experts relieve themselves of the “curse of knowledge” and communicate in ways that are easy for everyone to understand. As consultants, our job is to solve problems. Dan’s strategies are a must for any consultant. By going back to the basics of “who, what, when, where, how, and why”, we found ourselves explaining problems in new ways that brought new life to old topics.

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“Back of the Napkin” by Dan Roam

 

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Why spend time on business continuity? What you get out of planning for failure

In today’s business world, we are all faced with multiple responsibilities. It is easy to let things like business continuity, disaster planning, and crisis management fall to the bottom of the list, especially when there have been no recent crises to remind us of their importance. But planning for failure can contribute to your company’s success. Both in the event of an incident and in improving your current workflow, obstacles to continuity often turn out to be obstacles to success.

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How to create behavioral change for your business continuity program

Major change initiatives like business continuity take time, but many programs are often declared failures and abandoned before they are given a chance to succeed. For this reason, it’s crucial to show immediate signs of success, particularly for programs that are newly initiated or being re-launched. New behaviors also take time to become habitual, so in order for a business continuity management program to be self-sustaining, it must be gradually built and adopted as part of the company culture.

In order to accomplish this, people also need what Fogg calls “triggers.” Triggers can be thought of as a cue, prompt, call to action, or request that leads to a chain of desired behaviors. In other words, as Fogg states, “Triggers tell people to ‘do it now!’”

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