One of the things I find annoying about these online conversations is how fragmented they often are – too many entities trying to own the conversation (competing blogs and web sites) and as a result we get limited people engaged. The most annoying are those that are locked away behind a login and those that do not allow syndication in some way.
I have a block in the left margin of each page where I highlight other blog posts that I have commented on (where they support that technology) in the hope of drawing other people to those conversations. Also in the right margin of this page is my Blogroll (the ones I read regularly), my bookmark feed from Delicious and some interesting stuff from Google Reader. Despite all this some valuable discussion s are still locked away.
Recently I have been engaged in some very interesting discussions on the LinkedIn Groups feature. These Groups exhibit both of my major annoyances. The subject has been around the people aspects of BC – or the lack of attention to this aspect by many people.
Here are the links to the Groups/Discussions. LinkedIn is free to join and both Groups have moderated membership so you need to wait for your request to join the Group to be approved. I encourage anybody interested in resilience thinking (or in fact in doing BC properly) to join and contribute – after all the people part of this is probably the most important.
The first conversation was started by Josh Eudowe, a person new to the BC field. It is posted in the Group BCMIX – BCM Info Exchange. Here is what he posted;
I’m a business continuity professional (relatively new to the industry) and I’d like to focus less on the facilities and more on the people. For example, work with clients on how to prepare employees for a crisis and to help management to design and implement programs to:
1. Identify how employees can/will be affected by all possible situations
2. Identify the possible responses from employees
3. Prepare a plan to ensure employee retention and effectiveness
4. Communicate to employees what’s being done, without causing concern
5. Implement training programs
6. Create an effective “employee continuity plan” and test for readiness
This thread currently has 35 comments – which is an amazing level of response. Responses to any thread are varied and different readers will get value from different posts. Often you pick up good links to other writing in the responses, such as Mike Jacobs paper published at Continuity Central. I have also added a couple of new LinkedIn contacts based on what they had to say.
I would really like to be able to share these debates with a wider audience but they do not have RSS feeds or any other way to share with a non-LinkedIn audience.
One of my contributions to this discussion was to raise the profile of a new LinkedIn Group – this one is called “Human Continuity“. At the time it only had 2 members and no activity – fortunately 3 new people joined from the first thread.
I made this post on the discussion board – as yet there is no debate;
Reading thru the two related threads it seems to me that we are often talking at cross purposes about what “people” mean in the context of Business Continuity.
You will see references to “Human Aspects” and “Human Infrastructure”. Reminds me of one of my favorite Dilbert cartoons where the Evil HR Director suggest we refer to them as ‘Human Cattle’.
Do these labels seek to dehumanise? Note the question is not do the specific people who used those labels seek this – but is the need for the labeling indicative of a model of thinking that requires it.
Is this a feature of the very mechanistic “BC is a system/process” thinking?
We also talk about people as plan content – the content of Call Trees, who must attend the Command Centre/Recovery Site, who must be trained in roles.
And as people who must be cared for after a catastrophic event, the welfare aspect.
If we are seeking to achieve the continuity of business operations – then people are extremely important. Planning is important – plans are simply artefacts.
If we write plans for people to read, and perhaps follow as an option if it makes sense in the incident they face, then the plans exist to serve the needs of the people – not the other way around.
Do you have a view on this subject – then I encourage you to join the group on LinkedIn and contribute. If not you are welcome to post here and I will write up a digest of the comments I get.
How do you view ‘people issues’ within BCM?
Are the people there to serve the plans, or is it the other way around?