There is an old adage that ‘you can’t put a price on life’ and I personally believe that. No amount of money will every replace a lost life due to a disaster or any other situation. After I recently heard a response to so some questions about Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery by a Senior Executive, I’m beginning to think that some organizations actually do put a dollar value on life – even if they don’t know they’re doing.
When an organization fakes its way through a disaster, pretending to show it has disaster response mechanisms in place, you’re putting the mechanism over the person, which means, you have put a dollar value on human life. Why? Because you didn’t put a response plan in place to protect those lives; if they were of value to your organization there would be some sort of BCM / DR program (and plans) in place. And not just a response program (BCM/DR program) but there are no risk mitigation protocols or management strategies in place to help reduce the impact of any potential threats and vulnerabilities. I know that’s kind of harsh but that’s really what’s happened, whether an organization knows it or not.
If an organization decides not to pursue any mitigation or disaster response program in place, then it’s as though they believe people aren’t important enough to care or worry about to create and maintain any sort of program, or believe that they can be impacted by any sort of business interruption.
Not having an interest in creating a program translates to there being no real worry about anything; that the value of what needs protecting – people – isn’t of greater value than the value of the ‘bottom line’. Company resources equate to money making and BCM/DR programs don’t add ‘noticeable’ value to that bottom line; in fact, its’ seen as an additional – in unnecessary expense. Process and profit over people.
However, if some profit is put towards BCM / DR plans, then there is the greater chance that when something does occur, the employees can help the company create protocols and plans to put in place that mitigates the impacts of disasters and better enables them to respond to a disaster — and keep making money.
When money is put towards a BCM/DR program, to create a program or to maintain a program, then it’s as though the company places great value on life. This will show in its response in the media and public opinion; both of which can make and/or break a company.
So if you’re ever having trouble getting people behind you’re program, put a human face on it; that’s get people’s attention every time.
© StoneRoad 2015
A.Alex Fullick has over 18 years’ experience working in Business Continuity and is the author of numerous books, including “Heads in the Sand” and “BIA: Building the Foundation for a Strong Business Continuity Program.”