You may not realize this but there is an ART to Business Continuity Management (BCM). I know many of you’re thinking ‘yeah, of course it is’ but there is an ART that most don’t know about; the ART of employees. What? When it comes to disasters, corporations depend upon ART to respond, restore and recover from the situation. ART stands for Assets, Resources and Talent. Let’s look at each separately.
Asset can be defined as ‘the total resources of a person or business, as cash or real estate’ (Dictionary.com). This definition kind of implies ownership; ownership of a person. I don’t think companies have that ability; to won their employees – and their management representatives for that matter. You can own an asset such as processes, equipment and facilities but not people. Often, these assets show up on balance sheets, which people don’t, so people can be an asset of a corporation.
However, a person can be an asset to a corporation. They can be in key roles and have incredible levels of skill and knowledge about processes and services or other areas of the organization. They can be people that are heavily leveraged by the corporation to get things done or – as some might say – the ‘go-to guy/gal’. Because of what they know and do, they are assets to the organization but they aren’t owned by the organization and can’t be assets of the organization.
A resource can be a ‘means of producing wealth AND source of supply or aid for support, and can easily be drawn upon.’ Dictionary.com) Now we take a step out of the ‘asset’ domain and walk into something a bit more on the grey side. A means of producing wealth can be done through investments, various acquisitions and the actions of key personnel; those that can make sound judgements for a corporation and help them remain prosperous. It’s people and their skills and knowledge – and their decisions – that help create wealth for a corporation. If they didn’t make decisions the corporation would stand still and not make any money. Well, OK. The money in the bank accounts would receive interest.
This is the non-personal side of a resource. It can be a thing that a corporation own (or not) that they can leverage to help continue their growth and their response plans to a disaster. A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is a resource that can be utilized to help a department/division get back up and running. It’s drawn upon to provide guidance on actions that may – or may not – be required by a department manager (or their alternate) when they find they have a disaster or that systems won’t be available for some time.
Hopefully, when a disaster occurs, the employee base can be relied upon to help the corporation get back up and running and respond appropriately to ensure the minimal level of service interruption allowed. Of course, this assume that they’ve received training and at least some awareness. If not, it might be tough to draw from them because they won’t be easily reached or contacted to have them become part of the response/restoration/recovery efforts.
A resource can be a person, a place (facility) or thing (application, server, documented processes etc). Still the definition of a person being a resource, is a bit de-humanizing. It’s best not to consider employees a resource.
Finally there is the “T” in art: talent. People have talent; every single person in the world has a talent, whether they know it or not. Unfortunately, Hollywood and some corporation would have us believe that talent is something that is marketable and profitable. Not so.
From a business perspective, companies can’t operate without talent on all levels. From the newest person within the corporation
to the top dog. Each person has their own abilities and have their own roles to play within the company. These talents also come out when disaster strikes. The right people (hopefully) are put in the leadership roles of crisis teams and other talents are used to
rebuild the mainframe.
Of course, during disaster, you may find that some don’t have a specific talent. Those with leadership talent don’t always respond well to disasters and crisis. They may be good at making tough decision and making the company lots of money but they can’t make the right decisions – if any – when faced with adversity. Adversity on the printer balance sheet is one thing; a fire or explosion at a facility is another. The opposite is also true.
When a fire erupts, you may find that the quiet sole that sat in the corner who barely talks to anyone, suddenly stands up and takes charge. They can be the quiet leader that draws upon talent they didn’t know they had – and neither would any of their work colleagues. Sometimes surprises occur and leaders come out and be seen during adverse situations. A quiet person number
crunching in the corner is performing their talent that everyone sees – though they may not know him/her – but they have other talents that don’t get seen. Leading those during a disaster and coordinating efforts such as life safety, is an additional talent that may not have been recognized before simply because a disaster hadn’t occurred before.
A talent can only be attributed to a person. Granted, David Letterman sometimes proves that pets can be talented too.
Still, in corporations, talent is people; people are talented.
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,