Get middle management’s buy-in for your program with a free power lunch!
In addition to upper management, getting middle management’s support is extremely important to your success. Without it you will have a difficult time implementing and maintaining a world-class program. With it you will have a much easier path to success.
Process owners, directors and department heads will be your critical partners on the front lines. I have been fortunate in my career to have had committed partners and it worked to everyone’s benefit. Some of the stories on this site reinforce that.
Tip – It is all about them. Emphasize you want everyone to keep their jobs during and after a disruptive event. Mention some of those industry horror stories that have impacted other companies in your industry. People have bills to pay so they will ‘get it’. You are here to make sure that your company can respond to any type of event.
If you package it right, managers will dedicate time and energy to building and testing their plans as often as necessary. Early in my career I had a positive experience with a Director of Securities Trading. He was an important person with a busy schedule but he ‘got it’. Together we spent time carving out innovative ways to recover the trading processes before most companies were doing it. It proved valuable when disaster struck. I tell the story in more detail in another post on Ultimate Business Continuity.
Tip – In my experience a great way to get full support from all levels of management is if upper management hosts a lunch for you your first week on the job introducing you to the middle-managers and other key partners. It will clearly demonstrate upper management’s support and buy-in for you and the resilience program. To kick off the meal they will speak to the attendees about the importance of having tested plans in place. Trust me, it means a lot coming from leadership. Even more than coming from you or me. You will also have the opportunity to meet many people that will be critical to the success of the program.
Meetings and time commitments from middle-managers and line workers will fall into place when they realize upper management is committed to building a culture of resilience.
In one company I worked for, upper management hosted a lunch for me during my first week on the job while one of my counterparts in another region of the country met with the middle managers ‘cold’ (no upper management hosted support lunch prior to the meetings). Coming into the meetings ‘warm’ made my job easier and very effective. People knew I was on-board to help them. My counterpart, on the other hand, was seen as an efficiency expert. Perception is everything. It is hard to change first impressions. People unfortunately thought he was brought on-board to reduce expenses by cutting jobs. Unfortunately, my teammate left the company within a year.
So, get managements backing and spread the word. A power lunch or dinner will move things along very nicely. Good luck.