Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Testing Your Business Continuity Plan

A recent article stated -- sometimes failure is the best way to learn if your plan is working. You can't even fail, however, if you don't exercise the plan. When did you last test your business continuity plan? If you haven't done it in a year, you're definitely due. Take a look at this week's articles and sit down with your team to figure out when and how you'll put your plan to the test.

It's not rocket science but there is a skill to setting up and running a great exercise.  (Item #1)   Having a business continuity plan is good, but testing it regularly is equally important. (Item #2)   Risk monitoring and testing ensure that the institution's business continuity planning process remains viable. (Item #3)

Testing your plan is a critical step you should not skip. (Item #4)   The article identifies business continuity concepts that should be tested, training priorities, and exercise recommendations. (Item #5)   A comprehensive, multi-dimensional and ongoing BCP DRP testing program is the only way to achieve the level of confidence you and your senior executives expect. (Item #6)

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Getting Buy-in for Business Continuity Plans & Activities

We talk all the time about how to get buy-in for business continuity from top management and/or the board, but we also should consider the other stakeholders in the organization. What about getting buy-in from middle management and other staff? And, after you get the support you need, how do you get your project funded? These are some of the questions that this week’s articles answer. Perhaps it is time to assess your situation and do some thinking and brainstorming about how to handle these challenges.

What can you do to influence your C-Level team on Business Continuity? (Item #1)   It’s time for BC professionals to go the extra mile, reaching out to everyone in the organization. (Item #2)   A company has to be prepared to tackle political fall-out at all levels, so involvement of all levels of management is key in order to fully develop the Business Continuity plan. (Item #3)

You and your peers might take it for granted that senior management understands the need for disaster avoidance and recovery planning; this is not often the case. (Item #4)   Simulations can force top managers to identify their organization’s most important data assets for the first time, as well as consider the potential risks to those assets of cyber attack. (Item #5)   This FEMA video offers advice on how to communicate effectively about business continuity with senior leadership and gain their support. (Item #6)

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Social Media

Social media... to some it's an incredibly useful business continuity tool, but to others it's an area fraught with potential disaster. Both views are valid. If, however, you have a plan for using social media in a crisis and/or responding to social media crises, you can avoid, or at the very least, mitigate a catastrophe. Do you have someone who monitors social media? What happens if they find negative comments? Do you know how to respond? If not, it might be helpful to look over the articles below and meet with your team to come up with a plan for dealing with the negative and using social media to your benefit.

There are both positives and negatives about the use of social media as a business continuity tool. (Item #1)   Handling negative social media comments is the topic of this brief video. (Item #2)   What can you do to avoid costly mistakes in developing and implementing social media strategies geared toward improving your organization's crisis management? (Item #3)

We can all learn from the mistakes of others... (Item #4)   But we can also learn from their successes. (Item #5)   It is important to remember that stakeholder engagement via social media must be geared toward building social capital and stakeholder trust well before a crisis occurs. (Item #6)

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Crisis Communication

In today's world, with the eternal vigilance of social media and the 24-hour news cycle, almost anything can become a crisis to deal with. Are you prepared to respond to crisis situations? Have you sat down with your team and brainstormed about the kinds of things that could become a crisis for your organization? What if the CEO dies suddenly? Or one of your executives becomes involved in a scandal that starts a social media frenzy? Or lightning takes out both your data center and your back-up servers? No? Then perhaps you need to set up a meeting to do so ASAP. Your reputation and your survival could depend upon it.

Here are a few tips about how to brace for severe and volatile crises. (Item #1)   The crisis response is what management does and says after the crisis hits; research falls into two sections: the initial crisis response and reputation repair and behavioral intentions. (Item #2)   Instead of trying to create a locked-down plan, what you need is a process for quick decision-making. (Item #3)

It's important to understand that communication issues will arise, and that having a plan for addressing them will make life easier when they do. (Item #4)   Expect the unexpected, and then try to prepare for the most devastating possibilities. (Item #5)   The work of crisis communication is two-fold -- preparation and response. (Item #6)

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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Workplace Violence

April is Workplace Violence Awareness Month, sponsored by the Alliance Against Workplace Violence. It is, therefore, a good time to revisit this topic and perhaps to rethink the policies you have in place for recognizing, preventing and dealing with workplace violence. How can violence in the workplace impact your business? What is its effect on productivity and your bottom line? The articles below can provide some food for discussions with your business continuity team.

This Workplace Violence website provides information on the extent of violence in the workplace, assessing the hazards in different settings and developing workplace violence prevention plans for individual worksites.  (Item #1)   Companies that recognize the potential for workplace violence are in the best position to prevent it.  (Item #2)   This brief video offers seven tips on how to prevent violence in the workplace. (Item #3)

It is crucial that domestic abuse be seen as a serious, recognizable, and preventable problem like thousands of other workplace health and safety issues that affect a business and its bottom line. (Item #4)   In today’s society no company is immune from the threat of workplace violence; prudent, proactive measures can reduce the likelihood of a tragedy and reduce the risk to your business. (Item #5)   Incidents of violence in the workplace highlight the need for business owners to take precautions and proactive measures to protect employees and coworkers and reduce the likelihood of an incident of violent crime. (Item #6)

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