BCM / DR: eBooks Now Available by A. Alex Fullick (Stone Road Inc)

21 06 2014

We’ve been a bunch of busy beavers here at StoneRoad. We’re very happy to announce that two books by our founder A.Alex Fullick, ‘Heads in the Sand’ and ‘Business Impact Analysis’ are now exclusively available as ebooks at the StoneRoad shop.

Get your copies now using the links below:

Heads in the Sand
OR

https://stone-road.netfirms.com/cart/index.php?main_page=document_product_info&cPath=3&products_id=201&zenid=3d712e28f2680972874f7e4a8d473940

Business Impact Analysis
OR

https://stone-road.netfirms.com/cart/index.php?main_page=document_product_info&cPath=3&products_id=202&zenid=3d712e28f2680972874f7e4a8d473940

‘Like’ Join us on Facebook too at Stone Road Inc.

The StoneRoad Team.
(C) Stone Road Inc, 2014





The 6 “C’s” of Crisis Management & Communications

16 02 2013

While in China I had an interesting conversation with a gentleman from China (he spoke English).  Our main topic was Emergency Management but as we conversed, he kept making note of a few things related to Crisis Management and each one seemed to begin with the letter “C”.  I don’t know if it was something that was intentional or if it was something that was just coming across due to the language difficulties between us, which I didn’t find that difficult by the way.  Anyway, I thought I’d make note of them and provide a description of what he was getting across.

In every crisis, disaster or emergency situation, which he was defining as a larger community based disaster such as an earthquake (hey, he was part of the Great Sichuan Earthquake of 2008, China).  Listening to him was fascinating, as he was actually there and a part of the recovery and coordination efforts related to the massive Chinese earthquake that killed 10’s of thousands – if not more.  So here are the 6 C’s of Crisis Management – and I haven’t put them in any specific order in case you’re wondering…

  1. Contain – First, get a grip on the situation and don’t let it spread any further and do any more damage that it already has.  I guess a good example of his would be a fire and how fire fighters contain a blaze.  Even firefighters fighting brush fires burn a perimeter (a controlled burn) to ensure the fire stays contained within a certain area.  I know some of you will have experience on this disaster, so feel free to add details on how that’s done.  It’s in every organization’s best interest to ensure that a situation doesn’t get out of control – so contain it and don’t let the situation spread.
  2. Control – Take charge of the situation and don’t wait for it to play out in front of you – it could be too late.  If an organization doesn’t take control of the situation – through media and its Crisis Team structure – someone or something else will take control of it for you.  For instance, if there’s no media represented updates on the situation, then speculation and rumour will begin to run rampant. Try then to gain control of the situation – it will be next to impossible because the media (bless ‘em) will begin to make its own assumptions and presentation on what the situation is.  You’ll be fighting two fires now; the situation itself and the possible misrepresentation in the media.  Take command of the situation.
  3. Command – This referred to the various components and members of the Crisis Team and Crisis Team structures (I.e. Disaster Teams).  Take charge of the situation (…is that another “C”?) and ensure that you’re on top of things.  You can even be on top of things if you don’t have the full scale and scope of the situation yet.  You do this by taking command and having proper protocols – that have been rehearsed and validated – that everyone understands and utilizes to ensure the situation is under control.  It outlines proper roles and responsibilities that team members follow to allow proper response, crisis management, restoration and recovery efforts to be initiated.
  4. Continue – This is what you want most for you business operations, right?  After any disaster or crisis, you want to be able to continue your operations one way or another and usually the sooner the better.  The longer you’re out the greater the impact will be on your bottom line, community, shareholders, clients and employees.  All your plans and procedures should be in place not just to address and manage the crisis but to allow your operations to continue.  Managing a crisis effectively doesn’t mean your business will continue.  Business Continuity will work when the crisis is being managed effectively, if not, you’re going to end up diverting resources to ‘fire fighting’ rather than ensuring the business continues.  They go together and if you don’t have one without the other, it’s like walking a straight line while jumping on a pogo stick cross-eyed. 
  5. Communicate – Communicate quickly, often and effectively.   You’ve got more audiences that you think you have and they will all need to be addressed.  The Board of Directors will be seeking different levels of information than what the public is seeking, which is different than what your employees need.  Don’t just spit out generic comments and expect everyone to understand it.   Not every message is received the same way – and if you’ve got different people delivering the message, then you can expect differences in delivery as well.  What ever you do, don’t say “No comment” or “Off the Record”  – that’s just asking for trouble.  There’s not such thing as off the record – not in today’s world of technology and if you say ‘no comment’ it’s interpreted as something is being hidden.  If media – or anyone for that matter – thinks your hiding something or lying, you’re going to be “guilty” in the eyes of everyone who heard the message.  And those that didn’t hear it, will read and see it on the news.  Refer back to the comments in #2. 
  6. Care – Show you care about people, especially those impacted by the situation. This includes your employees.  Often, corporations will talk about the impact on customers and clients but forget the employees. Wouldn’t that make employees feel they aren’t cared for?  After all, they are the ones closest to, and the first ones influenced, by the situation (assuming an internal fire or other crisis).  I read recently a great article that said, speak and communicate to people’s emotions and how they see the disaster, not how you – the organization – sees it.  You have a better chance of controlling and containing situation is you speak the hearts and minds of people rather than to the pocketbooks of shareholders and bank managers, or worse, speak as you’re the victim.  

 I liked what he had to say overall and was busy in the back of my mind comparing his thoughts and comments to BCM and how he was also describing the crisis management component of BCM.  I know his perspective was large grander but the principles were all the same. I could go on and on into more detail but I have a 2nd and 3rd book to complete first – maybe this topic will make it on the list of other items to write about (I’ve a list of 11 books so far…).

 I think I should add that after our discussion he was presenting at the conference I was attending in Beijing (The International Emergency Management Society – TIEMS) and he only seemed to make note of 4 C’s.  But then again I was listening to his speech through a translator and he may have said all 6 from our discussion but the translator may have missed it.  May be the 2 C’s were ‘Lost in Translation’ ha ha 

**NOW AVAILABLE**

The new book by StoneRoad founder, A.Alex Fullick, MBCI, CBCP, CBRA, ITILv3, “Heads in the Sand: What Stops Corporations From Seeing Business Continuity as a Social Responsibility.” Available at www.stone-road.com **





StoneRoad Announces New Document Templates to Help Your BCM / DR Program!!

1 12 2012

StoneRoad is happy to announce that we now have more BCM / DR document templates available for purchase from our shop at www.stone-road.com.  We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again; everything we do is to help you and your corporation move forward with your Business Continuity / Disaster Planning programs.  To help with that, we’ve now got the following document templates available:

a) Business Impact Analysis (BIA)   

b) BCM/DR Test-Exercise Scope Template    

c) BCM/DR Test-Exercise Project Change Template    

d) Operating Unit Business Continuity Plan (BCP) Template     

Each comes with built in ‘how-to’ notes so that you can work your way through the documents and help build your program.  Each is build in a modular format so you can either copy/paste components when you need more room or delete components when you don’t.

We’re working on more templates for 2013…so we’ve only just begun to give you tools you need.

Check things out at www.stone-road.com.

Happy planning!
The StoneRoad Team





StoneRoad at 2013 Australia & New Zealand DR/ERM Conference!!

1 12 2012

We’re happy to announce that StoneRoad founder A.Alex Fullick will be presenting at the 2013 Australia & New Zealand Disaster and Emergency Management Conference in Brisbane, Australia (May 29-31, 2013).   The topic of discussion will be based on Business Continuity Management (BCM) and Social Responsibility.

The conference is sure to be a great experience, full of intesting presentations by knowledgeable professionals from many diverse industries and backgrounds.

For details on the conference, checkout the website at http://anzdmc.com.au/.

We hope to see you there!!

Regards,

The StoneRoad Team





The Latest TIEMS Newsletter

3 10 2012

Here is the latest newsletter from The International Emergency Managers Society (TIEMS).

http://www.tiems.info/images/stories/tiems%202012%20newsletter%20october%20final.pdf

Enjoy!!  :)

 

Regards,

The StoneRoad Team

 





WIN A FREE BCM/DR PROGRAM EVALUATION!!

15 09 2012

WIN A FREE BCM/DR PROGRAM EVALUATION!!  Find out where you really stand.

We have decided to run a great contest here at StoneRoad: Purchase a book from our founder, A. Fullick, directly from the StoneRoad website (www.stone-road.com) , your name (and company) will be entered into a draw for a FREE Business Continuity Management (BCM) program evaluation.    The more copies you purchase – of any book or combination of books – the more entries your get and the greater your chances.

Oh, and did we say it’s open to EVERYONE AROUND THE WORLD !!  How’s that for confidence in what we do!

So, head over to the StoneRoad website for details and good luck!! www.stone-road.com

This is only valid for books sold through the StoneRoad bookstore (https://stone-road.netfirms.com/cart/);  purchases from any other retail outlets (online or otherwise) are not eligible.     If you have any questions, email inquiries@stone-road.com.

GOOD LUCK!!

Regards,

The StoneRoad Team

“Failure isn’t about falling down, failure is staying down” – Marillion

“Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday” – Buddha





Japanese Nuclear Power Plan Report Released (July 2012)

8 07 2012

A week ago I’d heard the Fukushima report was coming out and that there were a bunch of conclusions and recommendations being prepared, so I set to writing an article for posting thinking I could add my thoughts as well.  Then I read the report and found that it said everything better than I could.  So, here’s a link to the report The Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission  and what the commission recommends and determined was the cause of the disaster.

One thing that I found very interesting is the fact that corporate culture attributed to the disaster – in fact, is listed as a cause of the disasters – and that the very nature of the disaster was communication; from well before the disaster to after it had occurred.  What was also fascinating was that the disaster itself was not the caused by the tsunami, which would be a normal thought but rather the cause of the power plan disaster was man-made.  The tsunami was just the catalyst to trigger all the problems that existed.

I’ve always said – in previous posts – that communications would be the glue that either holds it all together or assists with it all falling apart.  Seems I’ve been validated (and I know I’m not the only person who thinks that).

One thing that I hadn’t expected in the report was the mention of how government and agencies change the names of organizations that experienced or participated in the disasters to show that they’re taking things seriously.   But, they don’t change any of the processes and procedures within these organizations; the processes and procedures that didn’t work the first time.  You can throw paint on a decrepit old car but that won’t make it run any better and that’s what the report basically says.  There is fear that nothing will change; let’s hope it does.

Enjoy the report: I did.

(c) StoneRoad

 **NOW AVAILABLE**

 “Heads in the Sand: What Stops Corporations From Seeing Business Continuity as a Social Responsibility” and “Made Again Volume 1 – Practical Advice for Business Continuity Programs”

by StoneRoad founder, A.Alex Fullick, MBCI, CBCP, CBRA, ITILv3

Available at www.stone-road.com, www.amazon.com & www.volumesdirect.com

 





15th TIEMS Newsletter (March 2012)

24 03 2012

The latest newsletter from The International Emergency Managers Society (TIEMS) is now available.  StoneRoad founder A.Alex Fullick, MBCI, CBCP, CBRA is co-editor.   Check out the two articles by Alex; one in partnership with the President of TIEMS, K. Harald Drager.

Check out the link below and see what other things TIEMS is up to.

Link:

http://www.tiems.info/images/stories/tiems%202012%20march%20newsletter.pdf

 

 





NOW AVAILABLE the New Book by A.Alex Fullick: “Made Again – Volume 2″

17 03 2012

Announcement – A.Alex Fullick’s NEW Book Release: Made Again – Volume 2 

StoneRoad is excited to announce the new book by our founder, A.Alex Fullick, MBCI, CBCP, CBRA.  See the full Press Release below.

**********************************************************************************************************************

Stone Road releases third book: Made Again Volume 2: Practical Advice for Business Continuity Programs

It’s been a great year: revenue is up 25 per cent, profits are up, department teams are (is) functioning smoothly, your new product line has been a big seller and production efficiency and quality control have improved markedly. Employees are energized and the results of all the hard work is finally beginning to pay off.

(PRWEB) February 27, 2012

Then disaster strikes. The CEO decideds to jump ship; a key competitor has just introduced what could be a game-changer in your industry; and on top of that, your entire sales team is suddenly up in arms over commission and compensation levels, threatening to quit if you don’t come up with an enriched compensation package. In a short time, your business life has gone from glory to gory.

This is the world where Alex Fullick lives. Fullick is the Founder and Managing Director of StoneRoad, a business consultancy based in Southern Ontario specializing in Business Continuity Management (BCM) and Disaster Recovery Planning (DRP). Fullick is also an author, having published his first work in 2009 entitled Heads in the Sand; his second project, Made Again (Volume 1) was published in 2010.

Made Again (Volume 2) picks up where its precursor left off, offering practical Crisis Management, Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity advice for business owners and forward-thinking business executives. At its core, Made Again 2 asks business practitioners to work and hope for the best, but also to plan and prepare for the worst. It provides information tips and guidance for those that want to improve their BCM programs and provides details that can only be found through real-life experiences. Author Fullick encourages business owners and top execs to base their business-continuity plan on the four R’s: Resiliency, Restoration, Recovery and Resumption. It’s within this framework that the essays and advice articles are written, as his mission is to teach leaders how to prepare for the bad times as best they can, rather than trying to figure it out when a disaster strikes. A well-designed business-continuity plan/program will allow a corporation to respond to a disaster/crisis quickly and effectively; without them, the waters get murky and crisis response becomes slow, lurching, unfocussed and can potentially destroy an organization.

Fullick has that rare communications gift – his conversational writing style breathes life and passion and easy understanding into complex business subjects. An Amazon.com reviewer had this to say about Fullick’s conversational approach to writing: “It did not feel like I was being advised or taught, but more like I was having an informal chat with a friend. I would strongly recommend this book to anyone . . . “

Made Again 2 is that rare publishing commodity – it’s informative, it’s original and it’s crisply and clearly presented. It’s a must-read for those in business who need to be fully prepared for the absolute certainty of an absolutely uncertain tomorrow.

Author Alex Fullick is a writer based in Guelph, Ontario. When not hard at work at the keyboard, he can be found at the curling rink or, come summer, wandering the province’s hiking trails.

Made Again: Volume 2: Practical Advice for Business Continuity Programs
by A. Alex Fullick ISBN: 9780981365732

###

Puchase copies for yourself and your organization at Amazon.com and/or Volumes Direct Publishing.

 

 

 

 

 





What is a Disaster? (Part III – Final)

9 03 2012

My apologies for the delay in posting; after illness and busy work commitments, this took longer than anticipated.

Based on some feedback and comments received from the initial 2 part “What is a Disaster?” articles, I decided to put some additional closing thoughts together in a third – and final – instalment.

Thanks to everyone who sent comments and emails about the first 2 parts; you inspired this final piece.

*****************************************************

So let’s start from the beginning; What is a Disaster?  It’s still difficult to define a disaster in some respects because it’s different for every person, corporation and community.  They must have something in common if we call the situation a disaster, yet we all have varying perspectives as to what a disaster means to us – ourselves.  What may hinder one may not hinder another and if it does, it hinders them in different ways.  For individuals, the same situation impacting a corporation may not have any impact upon the individual.  Is it still a disaster?  From the corporations perspective, yup – it is.

Is a disaster something we feel?  See?  Experience or have knowledge of?  It can be any and all of these; either collectively or as separate entities.  From a corporate and/or community perspective, it’s how the situation plays out and impacts their operations, facilities and people – and it’s in direct relation to how well they prepared for an unplanned situation and their ability to mobilize resources in response to the situation.

A disaster is something you know will happen and can perceive happening but do nothing in response to the threats/risks/vulnerabilities.  One knowingly accepts the consequences of what occurs and yet, when it happens show complete surprise and shock.

Most ‘disasters’ have short-term durations.  They’re sudden and unplanned after all however, what makes them even more ‘disastrous’ is the long-term impact they can have.  Let me explain.

An earthquake lasts for only a few moments but the rebuilding processes and the care for those injured can go on for weeks, months and even years (thinkNew   Orleansafter Katrina).  This author visited the Sichuan Earthquake Zone in China, where devastation was so great that instead of repairing the city, China is building an entirely new city a few miles away; it was easier, quicker and less costly to do this.

The scars a flood can leave on landscape and future building and farming capabilities can last for years even when the flood was only rife for a short period of time.

Technologies and facilities can be rebuilt – sometimes better and stronger than they were before the disaster.  However, the effects on employees and residents who may have been badly impacted by the loss of technology (i.e. loan payments, lost pay cheques etc) or the loss of their home(s) can have very damaging long term impacts; in some cases they are emotionally scared until their dying days.

Of course, many sudden disasters – man-made and/or natural – can harm and impact many.  If you can get past it and move on – manage it well – it might not be such a disaster to you or your corporation; it could just be an inconvenience.  And let’s face it, people are resilient; it’s corporations that need to capture this human resiliency and incorporate it into their organizational culture.  They need to create mechanisms that are pro-active and help mitigate the potential of dangers, threats, risks, crises and disasters.  In everything it does, it thinks about risk and puts measures in place to mitigate and manage the risk.  It becomes second nature and we’re not just talking about financial risks but the full gamut of risks that can be attributed to any operation.   This doesn’t mean that everyone in the company is a worry-wart or paranoid…

If we can get through things on a basic human level – which is what got us here today – then corporations should be able to do that as well.  What’s missing that stops corporations from becoming resilient?  Is it too many standards and audit requirements – which sometimes can be interpreted as showing a lack of trust on some level – or is it the willingness to play the odds; cross the fingers and hope for the best with very little planning done to address the worst case situation.  If a corporation is resilient in its daily operations, will/can it still experience a disaster?  Sure it will; the trick is that it knows how to respond appropriately because it prepared appropriately and having become resilient, was able to stave off the worst of the disaster through its day-to-day operations.

It needs the internal workings – the internal workings of people – to drive its resiliency.  If a corporation – of any size – can harness the human resiliency, then it might find that when encountered with a crisis or disaster, it functions like a well-oiled machine instead of tripping and falling over itself trying to set things to right.

For many, disasters and crises are seen as learning opportunities to strengthen their resolve; to move towards their goals, regardless of what gets in the way.  A fire at an older building means the newer building is built with better detection and sprinkler systems; there is always the opportunity to improve on something.  There is a story that Thomas Edison failed at inventing the light bulb 99 times (I’m guessing at the number).  However, because he was resilient and didn’t give up or get bogged down by failure, he didn’t say he failed 99 times, he said he found 99 ways how ‘not’ to invent the light bulb (I’m paraphrasing of course).  Were 99 incidents of failure a disaster in this case?  No, they were opportunities to grow and learn.  He saw the silver lining within adversity and kept going after it; that’s resiliency; that’s what determines if a disaster is really a disaster.

The greater a persons (or corporations) resiliency level, the less impact the disaster has on them to continue; to move beyond the troubles and keep going.  (Note: By the way, I’m in no way stating that a hurricane, tsunami or major fire isn’t a disaster; that would be ridiculous.  I’m just illustrating a point.)

So how can a corporation (and its employees) become resilient and prepared for disasters?  Here’s just a few considerations.

  1. Involvement – Involve employees in what you’re doing; ERM, DR, BCM etc and know that it’s not just there for the corporation, it’s there for them.  When there isn’t a disaster the most critical thing corporations say is that their employees are important and yet often when there is a disaster corporations seem to focus on getting systems up and running first because competitors swoop in on their clients if they aren’t up and running.  Doesn’t this go against the “employee’s first” thinking?  I think it does.
  2. Empowerment – Empower your employees to do the right things the right way.  Sure, there are standards that have to be met but each situation encountered – let’s say a client issue – might require a different resolution to make the client happy once more.  Let an employee do that to a certain degree (you don’t want to give away the farm here…).
  3. Communicate – Communicate.  Communicate…and when you’ve done that communicate some more.  I really can’t say it enough.  Remember, communication isn’t just monologue – ‘telling’ others what to do and how to do it when a disaster strikes – it’s proactively listening to others and developing a dialogue – with employees, partners, vendors, suppliers etc – and then defining and solidifying your preparedness, appropriate strategies.  You get their expectations and you get their buy in because they believe in what you’re doing; heck, they helped you build the right plans and processes.
  4. Embed – In everything you do, consider the risks of not being able to do it; decide on a mitigation strategy (to ensure something doesn’t happen) and a contingency strategy (for when something does happen) so that business continuance slowly become engrained within the corporate culture.  It doesn’t mean everyone has to be paranoid or risk averse but rather everyone is focused on ensuring that the corporation – and its people – becomes resilient and considers risk in its operations.
  5. Practice – Practice may not make perfect but it does make you stronger to deal with adversity.  When plans and processes are developed, practice them or exercise/test them.  If you don’t practice you can’t become better at what you do or have a full understand of how to do it right.  And remember, your practicing what is in the plan, not practicing on how to manage the ‘planned and coordinated exercise.’  There’s no value in that; proving you can coordinate an exercise but possibly proving you (the corporation) would be lost in a real situation.
  6. Understand Impermanence – Understand that not everything lasts forever, in fact nothing does.  If you’re not experiencing any difficulties and things seem to be all ‘bunnies and rainbows’ know that at some point those rainbows disappear and those bunnies…well, they move on too.  Even when you nurture and take care of something to keep it functional for a long time – like a car – it will still eventually run down, turn to rust and fall apart.  Corporations must understand that they will experience a crisis or disaster soon enough.  So instead of ignoring it or crossing fingers behind their back, prepare and embed (like I said above) business continuity into the organization; takes the steps to become resilient cause the smooth sailing won’t last forever.

 

Disasters will happen and will continue to occur, we just don’t know when.  It’s this aspect that causes people and corporations to panic.  Since we don’t know when a disaster occurs, we play the odds and hope for the best, which can often come back to bite us.

What is a Disaster?  Who can say…‘cause what’s bad for me might not be bad for you; it depends on how resilient you and I are and how big our umbrella is when ‘it’ hits the fan.

 

 **NOW AVAILABLE**

 “Heads in the Sand: What Stops Corporations from Seeing Business Continuity as a Social Responsibility

“Made Again Volume 1 – Practical Advice for Business Continuity Programs”

“Made Again Volume 2 – Practical Advice for Business Continuity Programs”

All great books by StoneRoad founder, A.Alex Fullick, MBCI, CBCP, CBRA, ITILv3

Available at www.stone-road.com, www.amazon.com & www.volumesdirect.com








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