Preparing for the Unexpected (Jan 24/19): Terrorism

Our January 24/19 episode will focus on Terrorism: how it starts and how we can prepare.  We speak with noted terrorism expert and author, Professor Richard English.

https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/110173/terrorism-how-to-respond

Enjoy!

The StoneRoad Team

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Preparing for the Unexpected: Lessons Learned – Integrating Cyber Security w/ IMS/ICS Systems

For our 2018-08-16 show, we’ll talk to expert Douglas Grant about the lesson learned from integration Cyber Security with Incident Mgmt Systems.

https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/108192/lessons-learned-integrating-cyber-security-with-imsics-systems

Enjoy!

The StoneRoad Team

Canadian Disaster and Emergency Planning Changes Forever – Today (October 22, 2014)

Something was bound to happen eventually.  Isn’t that what disaster planning all about; prepare for the unplanned events that can throw things in chaos?   After years of never experiencing any sort of terrorist actions, today that changed in Ottawa, Canada.   Terrorists, which is what they attackers are being called at the moment, shot and killed a RCMP officer guarding the Canadian War Memorial and stormed the Parliament building, where Members of Parliament were actually on site.  On Monday – Oct 20/14 – a radical ran down two Canadian soldiers in uniform; one later dying in hospital. Continue reading

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

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 **

9 Things to Know When Presenting BCM / DR to Senior Executives

Recently I attended a great conference on a subject connected to the Emergency Management and Preparedness industry. It was quite informative and as I always try to do, left with greater knowledge than when I arrived; always taking with me information that can help boost any potential gaps in Business Continuity Management, Disaster Planning & Management, Crisis Communications and Emergency Management. It certainly did provide some great insights.

However, I found that due to many of the attendees and presenters – many of which were scientists and researchers – the message they were trying to convey sometimes got lost during their presentations. It was because they were incredibly intelligent and brilliant in their thinking, they could not speak to the audience; they were speaking at the audience. Often, many of them had the same end-message, where governments and organizations need to step up and take their topics seriously but it got me thinking; if I can’t understand some of what is being said – and I’m in the industry – how are governments and organizations going to take the message(s) seriously? They won’t be able to because they aren’t able to understand the message.

So I started writing some notes that would inevitably help presenters when speaking or presenting in front of others. If you can manage a few of these your message will be better received – and understood.

1. No Gaps: Don’t leave anything out of the message you’re trying to convey. Make sure you state the past experiences and state of the organization as well as your desired end state. An author doesn’t tell half the story or leave anything out; at some point the entire story is there for the reader. This must be true to BCM/DR/ERM; tell the entire message you’re conveying.
2. Verbiage to a Minimum (Slides): If you’re going to use PowerPoint slides, don’t overload them with tons of verbiage. Simply keep this in mind; do you want the audience to listen to you or read the slides, ignoring you? Choose wisely.
3. Not Just Data / Facts and Real Examples: Providing a ton of numbers won’t help get your message across – unless you’re an accountant. Since that’s not always the case, data – too much of it – will only get people to think of something else while they wait for you to finish your talk. Provide real example – even some from you own corporation – that illustrates your comments and position. Even provide good (and bad) examples from your competitors because if they’ve had a bad experience, which you can learn from – that’s the best example you can use.
4. Know the Value of BCM: If you’re going to present the good points of BCM to Senior Executives, really think through the value that BCM will bring to the organization. Too often it’s thought of as an expense but if you’ve thought through how it adds value to the organization, then you’re offering something that executives will listen to and buy into to.
5. Know the Stakeholders: When presenting in from on Senior Management, many believe that they are the stakeholders. Well, as with other internal resources (i.e. employees) that’s correct though they aren’t the only stakeholders. Remember to think of external partners, vendors and suppliers; they are stakeholders too and if they have a disaster your organization is impacted. If you have a disaster, they have an impact upon you and these dependencies must be understood by executives.
6. Acronyms: Simply put, people aren’t automatons or robots so don’t speak like one. Not everyone knows what they mean and with so many acronyms around these days, you could use one that has a completely different meaning than what you intend. If that happens, you’ve lost your audience because they simply don’t understand you. So if you’re speaking your language make sure you translate your words so they understand you.
7. Use of Assumptions: Many people forget that assumptions are those things you believe to be true; either in a disaster, during planning or in some other area. If you start quoting assumptions – especially in front of executives – make sure you investigate your assumptions first. And those you can’t clarify, make sure that during your planning efforts you either prove they are correct or prove them wrong. In the end, if you don’t clarify your assumptions, you could cause major headaches when a disaster occurs.
8. Be Relevant: Speak to your industry and your organization. Yes, some examples may represent others but stick with what you’re really after; getting BCM/DR/ERM buy in from your own organization. If you speak too much about others – especially other industries other than your own – you’re not being relevant at all. You’re wasting time – yours and theirs.
9. The Right Presenter: If you don’t know how to present or don’t know how to present, then get someone who is. You can still be there to answer questions and coach them ahead of time but if you’re not the right person to get the message across, get someone who is. It will make a huge difference if the message comes across with confidence rather than coming from someone who shows insecurity and stutters/stammers through the presentation. Feel free to join a Toastmasters group to help build your presentation skills.

We all want our presentations to be understood and welcomed and we have to know how to present our ideas effectively. If we don’t learn how to do that, we might end up with BCM being pushed to the backburner so make sure you get their attention right from the start; it could end up being the only opportunity you get.

© StoneRoad Inc

**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 http://www.stone-road.com, http://www.amazon.com & http://www.volumesdirect.com

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

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

The Latest TIEMS Newsletter

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