You win or lose as a team, not because of one person

In 21st century has not yet delivered on its promises of flying cars or teleport devices, technology certainly has a significant impact charles-schulz-peanuts-teamworkon the way we do business. It is a love-hate relationship, though — when it works, it is a fantastic convenience; when it breaks down, that’s when we panic.

In the face of a crisis, important documents are retrieved with a simple search of digital storage; instructions are immediately sent via email to offices in all four corners of the world; and there is ongoing dialogue between corporations and consumers via networking sites.

The challenge is for companies to best utilize technology and yet be business-resilient if it backfires. As great as technology can be, it only takes a blackout to wipe the slate clean.

As we become more dependent on technology, it’s even more important that we look at the risks and vulnerabilities we face because they change every day. Technology is great but there are limitations and complexities and potentially different risks that must be addressed. Whilst the internet and developments in teleconference technology may enable cost savings, it is important that staff are well train to fully utilize these advances.

A crisis occurs when there are risks to the stability of survival, whether it is people, businesses and/or governments. But, he adds, it is not solely the responsible of an organisation’s leader to steer a company towards recovery.

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As a leader, you must be prepared, and know what to do and how to get your business back to normal operations. But it’s not just the leader’s responsibility to ensure that everything is okay. Everybody should know his or her role during a crisis. You win or lose as a team, not because of one person.

As a speaker at the International Crisis Management Conference and Workshop 2009, to be held from Nov 4-5 in Kuala Lumpur, Corcoran will be sharing his experiences in helping organisations over the past 20 years, and giving his recommendations on how to improve based on lessons learned from the past.

With many companies opening multiple offices across the world, a well-planned integrated business continuity solution that focuses on the people in a business will far outweigh a focus on technology.

Some manager emphasizes the need to always address an organization’s most important asset — its people. Unfortunately, from my observations over the past 20 years, most disaster recovery plans do not adequately address the people aspects during a crisis or recovery. Most of the focus has been on technology, but without people to run, manage and use the information that technology creates, it’s all for nothing.

He advises multinational organizations to devise a company-wide business resiliency plan that addresses a framework of six crucial business layers:

  • Strategy/vision
  • Organization/people
  • Processes
  • Applications and data
  • Technology
  • Facilities

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These six business layers are critical to an integrated, efficient and effective business resiliency plan. A well-thought-out plan would help because everybody in the company would understand the importance of the plan, how it supports the strategy, and which processes are most important. A business should strive for consistent processes so that one country could support another country during a crisis.

A business continuity plan is no simple feat, and companies that have yet to do so may feel overwhelmed with even trying to figure out the scope of their plan. As a result, many companies resort to an attitude of ‘we’ll sort it out if and when it happens

If and when it happens, it could be too late. Technology is a double-edged sword that could harm as much as it helps. When a blackout or catastrophe strikes, a well-thought-out business resiliency plan will ensure that an organization is not left to grapple in the dark.