Top Tips for successful Business Continuity planning

By Andy Cuerel

Business Continuity Management Systems (BCMS) encompass comprehensive and often detailed suites of activities. Comprehensive, however, does not equate to incomprehensible. And detailed should not be a euphemism for over-engineered.

Consideration of the following should help keep your BCMS lean, mean and fit for purpose! Continue reading

Engaging the top team in crisis preparedness

Crisis-Management-Insights-Survey-2015-011.pngChief executives, managing directors and other senior business leaders are failing to engage fully in crisis preparedness and risk undermining their organisation’s ability to manage crises, according to Steelhenge and Regester Larkin’s latest crisis management survey.

The survey of 170 large companies from 27 countries revealed that big business understands the need to prepare for a crisis, with 86 per cent of respondents owning a crisis management plan, 59 per cent carrying out crisis training and 68 per cent conducting crisis exercises at least annually. It is clear that crisis preparedness is high on the agenda. Continue reading

‘Strategic’ and ‘operational’ resilience – establishing more comfortable bedfellows

Untitled-1By Dominic Cockram

The more I hear of the current discourse on organisational resilience, the more uncomfortable I find myself feeling.

The concept has been around for a long time and was brought sharply into focus in 2014 by the British Standard, BS 65000: Guidance on Organisational Resilience. As one of the editors, I was party to vivid and lengthy discussions and much positive disagreement as we ranged around the topic of organisational resilience, what it meant and how best to set it out in a standard. In the end, what came out was a ‘Guidance’ and that was an excellent result. Resilience is a complex and many faceted concept and it would have been wrong to go too far in framing an approach at this stage.

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Getting ahead in the reputation game

Reputation Management Concept on the Cogwheels.Reputation and the importance of a good reputation is well understood; for businesses reputation is a vital and valuable commercial asset, albeit intangible. But how do organisations actively protect their reputation and manage the risks to it being damaged?

That is a harder question to answer. The 2014 Forbes Insights Survey found that 39 per cent of companies surveyed rated the maturity of their reputation risk programmes as “average” or “below average,” and only 19 per cent gave themselves an “A” grade for their capabilities at managing reputation risk. Clearly there is still much to be done – but what? In this blog, I offer some ideas for consideration and debate.

Influencers of corporate reputation 

External perceptions of quality, transparency and trust are key influencers of corporate reputation, as found by research published in the Edelman Trust Barometer (an annual survey of more than 5,000 informed publics in 23 countries), the Fortune 500 listing of the world’s most admired companies and the Reputation Institute. But herein lie the first two problems for reputation risk management.  Reputation is an intangible asset and its gift is in the hands of your stakeholders; both factors make it harder to gauge. Continue reading

Launch of BS 65000, The new British Standard for Organisational Resilience

The GuildhallThe new British Standard, Guidance on Organisational Resilience (BS 65000: 2014) was launched on 27th November at the Guildhall in the City of London. The venue was an apt choice for the launch of a resilience Standard; built in the 15th century, the Guildhall is one of the older secular buildings in London not only surviving both the Great Fire and the blitz but also remaining relevant today as the high-tech home of the City of London Corporation and the setting for many banquets, receptions and corporate events.  This history of the Guildhall struck me as having parallels with the essence of organisational resilience described by Chairman of the BS 65000 committee, Dr Robert MacFarlane from the UK Cabinet Office. He emphasised that resilience is a dynamic concept requiring organisations not only to be able to continue with their business operations during a sudden change or disruption but also to adapt over time to keep pace with changes in their wider context in order to survive and prosper. It seems the Guildhall has managed this. Continue reading

Key Themes from the Crisis Management Conference 2014

IMG_0580Last month, we were delighted to welcome a capacity audience of international delegates to the Crisis Management Conference (CMC) 2014 in London.

The day had an auspicious start with the official launch of the new British Standard in Crisis Management, BS 11200 by the UK Cabinet Office and the British Standards Institution.  BS 11200 is the successor to PAS 200 and marks a significant point in crisis management as it codifies accumulated best practice into top-level guidance for organisations looking to implement a crisis management capability.

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Launch of BS 11200 – the new British Standard for Crisis Management

bs11200In May this year, the Cabinet Office and BSI published BS 11200 – the new British Standard for Crisis Management – Guidance and Good Practice.  Its official launch will be on 18th September in London.

Many would say the new Standard is long overdue; others that crisis management is already covered by ISO 22301, the International Standard for Business Continuity Management Systems.  However, whatever your view, no one can demur from the fact that BS 11200 covers the subject in far more depth and detail than any other Standard hitherto.

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The Crisis Management Conference 2014; Planning for Prosperity with a Coherent Crisis Management Capability

CMC2014 logo.jpgThe 2014 Crisis Management Conference (CMC 2014) will take place in London on Thursday 18th September. Delegates will be given a unique opportunity to hear speakers from the BBC, Network Rail, John Lewis, UBS, O2, UK Cabinet Office and the University of Liverpool discuss their first-hand experiences in preparing, responding and communicating in crisis. Click here to see the full programme.

Crisis management was long associated with failure and a desire to “keep covert” any crisis plans and preparations. Today, however, it is a topic of success, heralding responsible guardianship for the future well-being of an organisation’s people, performance, assets and reputation. It signals excellence in governance and leadership and is seen as an integral part of an organisation’s resilience, enabling it to thrive, survive and seize opportunity. Continue reading

Resilience and Crisis Management – what to look for in 2014?

By Dominic Cockram

Opinions on hot topics for 2014As the torrential rain and gales continue and, with the wettest January in UK already recorded, the mind swings to what else 2014 will hold for us within the resilience and crisis management world. Just for starters, we should see the launch of two new British Standards for Crisis Management and Resilience, both borne of the increasingly turbulent world in which organisations are operating and striving for success. I have also compiled a list of the Top 10 topics most likely to influence us this year. Continue reading

Reflections on BCM World 2013

BCMWorldConference logoSo, the BCM World Conference 2013 is now over and we can all reflect back on the trends it has presented.  Dominic Cockram from Steelhenge  led a presentation on “Achieving Control in a Crisis” on the first day and the stream – Thought Leadership – had an excellent turn-out. Dr Paul Robertson followed on the subject of crisis leadership and both sessions seemed to go down well although it was a quiet audience in terms of questions which was a shame.

Overall the conference felt as though there were slightly less people than last year but still a good turn-out at Olympia; never the most intimate or exciting of venues for conferences and more suited to large exhibitions.

As ever, there was a large turn-out of technology stands at the exhibition and the development of BC software, notification solutions and crisis software suites seems to continue to grow and develop.  We spoke to a number of visitors however and they seemed to want “something simple which just does what it says on the tin” so it still seems that many do not see the tech solution as giving them quite what they need  as yet.

The conference had a good spread of speakers and the case study stream had some excellent sessions looking more closely at how some are actually doing BCM.  The delegates always like to hear the realities from those doing the work at the sharp end. Our own business continuity planning case study of Establishing ISO 22301 in Crossrail: Europe’s Largest Construction Project, presented with Steve Hails, Health & Safety Director for Crossrail was extremely well received and it was a shame that the clock restricted the discussion session at the end.

Overall I would think it goes down as another good conference and well done to the BCI for all the work they always put in.  The trend seem to be moving towards Crisis Management and Resilience as the key areas of focus for the future, and reflected upon by Lyndon Bird in his article recently in Continuity.  Crisis Management is certainly seen now as a key area for businesses and the public sector to get right and there is much more effort heading in that direction now, as well as focus from the senior management teams which always helps.

Resilience continues to grow as a topic and is definitely gaining ground as the new arena for development.  Bringing together all the capabilities in a more integrated and measured fashion to ensure that organisations are ready for whatever is thrown at them.  The Mega Trends of the Future as set out in the PwC Global Review this year give some insights to way the world is heading and some of the issues we all need to face up to in the not so distant future and Resilience could be the approach to face this period of change and disruption to the norms we know now.  We shall see but it definitely offers considerable scope as a concept for such developments.

Other related posts: Resilience: The 21st Century Imperative