A consistent challenge that I have heard from Business Continuity Professionals over the past 20 years is mastering the art of getting buy in, and engagement, from their colleagues. As business continuity practitioners, you have chosen a very rewarding career. We all know how important your job is to the organization. However, some of your colleagues don’t always recognize it and they must be constantly reminded of how important business continuity is. You and I know that you’re the glue that keeps things together during an incident, however large or small.
You’re constantly engaging management teams in Human Resources, Safety & Security, Information Security, IT, Facilities, Property Management, Legal, Executive Management, as well as, Local Law Enforcement, Public Information Officers, and Social Media Administrators. Oh my goodness, if that is not enough to do, you must also ensure that your planners have updated their plans, prepared for audits, prepared for tests, and most importantly deal with real incidents that can happen at any time of day.
I’ve had it described in many ways, and not to generalize, but approximately 70% of your colleagues are indifferent. Sometimes they’ll do what you ask of them and sometimes they are reluctant because they have other jobs and competing priorities. Then there is about 15% of them that no matter how often you reach out to them, unfortunately they won’t do anything that you ask them to do. There is however, the 15% that really know business continuity is important, and really get engaged in whatever it is you ask them to do. So being an overall positive guy, I’ll suggest to you that you’re ahead of the game. Look at it this way, you have at least 85% of your colleagues listening to you, right? Take advantage of it and don’t give up on those that don’t listen. Some day they will.
As business continuity practitioners, you probably never thought of yourself as being in sales. You are (and everyone really is) in some sort of sales, by promoting yourselves and what is important. Kudos to you, Business Continuity Professional! BCP is important and so are you. You and I know it, we must keep reminding everyone else for continuity sake. Continuity – should have to do with how things happen over time: if there aren’t any bumps or breaks and everything goes on continuously, then there’s continuity. Keep smiling and keep up the good work.