Isn’t it great when what you do gets noticed and recognised by other people? Too often that doesn’t seem to happen to risk and BC folks – a lot of the work and effort is often unappreciated.
Just the other day I was processing my email Inbox and scanned a LinkedIN digest email before deleting it. The headline on a posted discussion article seemed familiar – people were discussing one of my posts!
The post “… a professional’s lament” was motivated by contemporary articles by Tim Armit and Nat Forbes on the state of the discipline. Thanks to David Discenza for reviving the discussion in the DRJ community.
That post is 6 years old and begged the question of what has changed in that time? More importantly are we learning from the past and using that learning to shape the future.
My 2016 lament is that it doesn’t seem like it.
Since 2010 there have been many events and changes that we should learn from – here are just a few items that come to mind;
- In Australia we have had 5 Prime Ministers in those 6 years.
- You can see similar trends indicating increasing lack of trust in institutions and fragmentation of community in many other countries.
- What is that telling us about the future practice of “Societal Security”?
- In 2010 the world was still reeling from the US Subprime mortgage crisis
- Many firms went out of business as a result of the crisis, in particular a number of large, high-profile financial companies.
- Are Credit and Market risk out of scope as risks to the continuity of your business? Or just out of scope to Business Continuity?
- In 2010 the world was getting over the “Swine Flu” pandemic
- After all the specific planning for H5N1 along came the unplanned – H1N1.
- Many organisations had simply ignored their existing Pandemic Plans.
- Where is our focus today – building adaptive capacity or pre-planned response to anticipated threats?
- A couple of major disasters since 2010 also gave us opportunities to learn and adapt;
- 6 years ago BP was stumbling along prior to the Deepwater Horizon incident.
- The Fukishima disaster provided lessons about the need to have visibility of our supplier’s suppliers – and that when regulators are captured by special interests in the industry then risk and vulnerability increase.
- In 2010 I had the latest gadget, my iPhone 3!
Where has the practice of BC moved in that period?
I have a much more sophisticated Smartphone today and there are certainly a lot of application software companies in evidence at industry conferences. But are the products really much smarter?
Do we effectively leverage changes in technology – or are we still confusing the process and the tools as a substitute for a professional practice?
6 years ago BS25999 was in vogue, the new way forward. Today only the numbers have changed – the compliance thinking appears to remain very common. The governance process and management systems thinking seems to have replaced the aspiration to create an “holistic management practice”.
There is the light of hope in this space.
In 2010 we had ISO31000 which is not a standard designed for certification, and going forward an expected ISO standard on resilience that also recognises that certification is not desirable, nor indeed possible, in this space.
Which is why I lament the loss of the opportunity presented the past 6 years in which people did not recognise that the concept of resilience was embraced in many quarters simply because of the way BC was being practiced and codified.
Yes it was an emerging novel idea, and yes it was (and remains) a threat to those legacy practices.
No, trying to own it, subvert it into certification standards, change the name of BC to Resilience – none will actually work.
And no, Risk Management isn’t – nor has it ever been – a sub-discipline of BCM.
Time to do something for your future.
The BCI promote September as education month, this year the theme is “Lifelong Learning”. Learning doesn’t just come from a classroom, it needs to come from within.
To be useful it needs to be informed by the past, but adapted for the present and challenging the status quo going forward.
What are you doing this month to learning something new?
To broaden, not just deepen, your skills and knowledge?
Resilience in the future is not going to be about past BC practices. Learning to collaborate and work with other disciplines is critical. As Einstein notes in the quote that starts this post – before we can act differently, we need to learn to think differently.
Here are 3 simple suggestion suggestions you might like to try this month’
- Join a local network group for a different discipline. Expose yourself to different thinking and perspectives.
- Subscribe to a newsletter outside the BC discipline, or one that will offer new and different ideas. Another way to expose yourself to different thinking, these are generally free and ongoing.
- Join my Education Month webinar – “Want value from Lifelong Learning? Focus on the future.“
Learning more about the way we have always done things, or still doing things the way we did them 5-10 years ago, really won’t qualify as broadening skills and knowledge.