24 October 2003

Comment: Culture change is key to business continuity management

Comment: Culture change is key to business continuity management:

By David Honour

A shift seems to be taking place from disaster recovery-based attitudes to business continuity to a more holistic business continuity management approach. The former focuses planning activities and budgetary spending upon business resumption and disaster recovery, while the latter has the main objective of preventing business interruption in the first place.

Business continuity management aims to proactively manage all business processes, assets, facilities, supply chains and human resources to ensure that, as far as is feasible, the business will always function at its highest capacity. This is distinct from disaster recovery-based business continuity which concentrates on ensuring that contingency plans and procedures are in place to return to business as usual as soon as possible after a crisis. Business continuity management does not neglect disaster recovery, but it sees it as a last resort.

However, as business continuity management develops it is coming up against a major obstruction in many organisations; that of corporate culture.

To be truly effective, business continuity management must be more than a programme, it must be deeply embedded into the corporate psyche of every employee. The organisation must become risk aware, and each employee must see the management and reporting of the risks under their control as their personal responsibility."

David's comments are dead on. BCM is about a management mindset and about organizational awareness of managing risk. It is also about a deep understanding of change itself.

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