Active Shooter – The Time To Plan Is NOW!

If you have an Active Shooter response program in place, that is great. If you have robust controls in place I applaud you for considering your employees! New digital tools are especially useful with active shooter identification and response. For example, I use a active shooter system with sensors that accuratelyRead More

Digital Transformation in Industrial-Age Companies

I am sure after reading my posts on digital mindset, the power of emerging technologies and how they are changing our world that you want to apply the concepts, tools and technologies as soon as possible to improving your business continuity, critical event management and risk programs . But itRead More

Digital Listening Tools are Key

Every BC, CM, Risk, Safety and Security Needs Relevant Situational Alerts… There is too much new and changing information to  monitor it manually. You must put yourself in position to  discover the ‘needles in a haystack’ before the competition.   Listening tools can make the difference between being  disrupted or beingRead More

Managing Stress – Be Good to Yourself

Business Continuity, Safety, Security, Risk, Operations… sometimes it gets stressful. Especially during a real disruption. We handle serious situations. Our employees and management count on us to get it right. This can lead to stress. Below are some ideas that have helped me manage stress. I am sharing them butRead More

Thinking of a Career Move From IT to BC Like I Did? Please Read This…

Tool categories I mention in this post include – BCM, Mass Notification, Employee Hotline, Survey Platforms Quite a few of us in the Business Resilience / Business Continuity (BRBC) profession began our careers in Information Technology (IT).  I am one of those people. If you are in IT and thinking of a careerRead More

How to Become A Great BC Professional

Attributes, Aptitude and Attitude of the Superstars Tools categories I mention in this post include BCM, Mass Notification, Employee Hotline, Survey Platforms, Business Intelligence I have found that great Business Resilience / Business Continuity (BRBC) professionals come from many different walks of life. Often, we begin our careers in aRead More

How to Build Your Business Resilience Web Site and Mobile App

A Business Resilience / Business Continuity (BRBC) website or mobile app are great ways for employees to easily access important information. These are also wonderful branding opportunities for your program. Tools I mention in the category include HTML5, BCM Your website can include: Breaking news Critical emergency phone numbers Best practicesRead More

Disaster Recovery System Testing BEFORE Going to Production

Your organization needs a robust disaster recovery program in place. The days of going back to manual workarounds in the absence of core critical systems is forever fading for many time sensitive processes. In fact, often the people that used to do the work manually are retired or have moved on toRead More

You are Only As Good As Your Data – So Let’s Make it Better

‘You are only as good as your contact data.’ (Suggestions in this posts focus mainly on employee contact data but are helpful with vendor and customer data as well). Tools mentioned in this post are focused on my recommended mass notification tools. In a previous post, we discussed how toRead More

How to Select Your Business Continuity Management (BCM) System

I strongly believe a great Business Continuity Management (BCM) system is a critical pillar of any mid to enterprise size world class business resilience program. In many ways it is the centerpiece of your technology stack. With a great BCM system you may be able to put much of your program on auto-pilot as IRead More

Situational Awareness – A Life Saver and Revenue Generator

Why situational awareness is critical: During a crisis or during business as usual we MUST understand what is happening that can impact us. Situational awareness enables us to understand the probability of threats. Accurate information is critical and it must be available in a timely manner. During a crisis makingRead More

Do a Pilot Before Buying Critical Software

If you are in the market to purchase a new critical software tool, such as a mass notification system, situational alert system, BCM plan repository… and have determined the finalists please do an in-house pilot! You MUST ‘kick the tires’ and play with all facets of the system BEFORE signing on the dottedRead More

Three Tech Pillars That Can Supercharge Your Program!

Throughout the site, I have clearly professed my belief that technology provides value that is not attainable from siloed word processing and spreadsheet entities. Word processing documents and spreadsheets have their value, but not as the cornerstones of a mid to enterprise size resilience program, in my opinion. Let usRead More

Gamify Your Resilience Program For Big Wins

If you make your program fun and exciting, you will be pleasantly surprised with the great results you achieve. Interest will skyrocket. People will be talking at the water cooler and they will stop you in the hall. Fun rules! Gamification works well in business resilience. If you have never heardRead More

My ‘Walk Down the Hall’ Awareness Assessment

I have used my fun ‘walk down the hall awareness assessment’ to gauge the level of awareness in my organization and to meet people. It may not be the most scientific exercise, but you can instantly get both qualitative and quantitative feedback. In addition, you will be branding yourself with everyRead More

Create a BC Newsletter – ‘Extra, Extra Read All About It’

‘Extra, Extra Read All About It!’ – You need a business continuity newsletter! It is a great way to promote awareness.  In my experience newsletters are fun to read and just as much fun to write. I even publish the Free Ultimate Business Continuity Newsletter. Your newsletter is a perfectRead More

Tasty Lunch-and-Learns: Fulfilling, Fun and Oh So Valuable

I highly recommend ‘lunch and learns’! They are great opportunities to communicate important info in a fun and stress free environment to a wide number of people. Tips ahead (you guys know me by now): Tip – Provide ample pizza, pasta, sandwiches, salad, snacks, coffee, tea, soft drinks… They willRead More

New Employees Awareness Training

Emergency Response and Business Continuity must be part of your new employee orientation process.  If  this is not the case in your organization it would be a very very big win for you to partner with HR, Safety, Security and Learning & Development to help all new employees be better prepared. TipRead More

Real Time Assessments = Extraordinary Value and The Road to Nirvana!

Developing a real-time understanding of every facet of a resilience program is a passion of mine! In this post I will share some ideas on the value it has provided in empowering me to do real-time assessment analysis with minimal manual effort. A major goal of this post is to getRead More

Interchangeable Work Area Recovery Exercise (IWARE)

Interchangeable (Mix-and-Match) Work Area Recovery Exercise! VALUE * VALUE * VALUE If you have never done a work area recovery exercise, you are in for a treat. If you have had the good fortune of doing them, you already realize why I am so excited about this post. Let’s examine someRead More

Tabletop Exercise Sign-in Sheet

All departments must have representation at tabletop exercises. The process owner / alternate process owner or both must attend. Position the sign-in sheet near the doorway so people see it as they arrive and you greet them. Before the exercise begins ask if everyone has signed-in so they will getRead More

Tabletop Readiness Checklist Take-Away

Whenever I host a tabletop exercise I provide a handy-dandy checklist to all participants. It is a valuable take-away. It helps guide them when reviewing their plan for completeness and finding gaps. It is also a starting point for readiness discussions with their team members. I hope you enjoy the list.Read More

Tabletop Meeting Invitation Template – Tweaked to Perfection

If you have not yet created an invitation, this one may give you some ideas. You can use it as-is or customize it to meet your needs. I vary tabletop invitations to fit the situation. Below is one of the invitations I find useful and well accepted by participants. YouRead More

Tabletop Hosting Tips and Techniques

Hosting tabletop exercises is one of my favorite activities. I suppose that is a good thing, as I have hosted 200+ tabletops during my career. Tabletops have so many valuable aspects. They are a low stress way to test your current plans, identify gaps and improve your ability to respond.Read More

Sell Them On This – ‘An Untested Plan is a Useless Plan’

ALL plans must be tested on a regular basis! Tip – Process owners should bring their plans to tabletops and workstation area recovery exercises. They should use them as-is during the exercise. Tip – Plans and strategies must be validated. Our goal is to identify gaps preventing the plan fromRead More

Testing Overview, Scope and Experiences

All Plans, Critical Systems, Recovery Strategies, Cyber and Call Trees / Mass Notification Call Lists must be tested and reviewed on a schedule that aligns to your policies and requirements. Testing must validate your plans and systems and improve the resilience of your organization. In sports, smart athletes ‘practice withRead More

How to Make Long-Lasting eReader Ready Plans

I always keep my antennas up for new ways I can improve business resilience / continuity.  Sometimes I come up with ideas that utilize manual improvements but more often than not, my ideas involve technological solutions. The idea we will discuss in this post came to me in a really round-about way. HereRead More

How to Create Tiny Plans

I often asked myself, ‘Why do all business process plans have to be 8 1/2″ x 11″‘?’ I could not come up with a good answer so I began experimenting. In this post we look at another approach, ‘How tiny can be beautiful!’ There is definitely a place for large, detailed, wide-scope,Read More

Why Digital AND Paper Plans Are Both Critical

Although I love technology I am going a bit old-school with this one so we leave nothing to chance. Create awareness among process owners that they should always have access to a paper ‘hard’ copy of their plan.  Also, tech it out by making plans available to them in a secure locationRead More

Do You Have a Business Continuity Plan for Your BC Department?

Did you remember to build a plan for your Business Continuity/Resilience Department? Did you include the Business Continuity/Resilience Department in your BIA? Did you include the Business Continuity Department in the Executive Report you created? Do you have a documented plan for the Business Continuity/Resilience Department at the enterprise and local levels?Read More

Create Wider Scope ‘Roll-Up Plans’ – Info at Your Fingertips
Digitizing the ‘Department’ Business Continuity Plan

The department (process) level business continuity plan is the ‘cookbook’ to recovering a department and sub-departments (sub-processes). There is no one ‘right way’ to document a plan. If you do some research you will find well over 100 styles of business continuity plans. Decide on a style that meets the needsRead More

How I Saved My Butt Using Creative Recovery Sites and You Can Too!

There may be times that your primary work location is impacted by a disruptive event and you cannot conveniently work-from-home, a sister site, a third-party-vendor or a mobile recovery trailer. In those scenarios, you must be resilient and think outside-the-box. I have been in those types of situations during my career. InRead More

Time Sensitive Call Re-Routing Can Keep Customers Happy AND Add New Customers + Revenue

Super resilience through the re-routing of customer facing toll free telephone numbers is critical in keeping customers happy and keeping them as customers during and after a disruptive event. You can even turn this super resilience into additional revenue by adding new customers after a disruptive event. Sales can make it partRead More

Recovery Strategy Options, Tips, Techniques and Ideas

In this post we will discuss a variety of business recovery options. It does not have to be all-or-nothing. You can mix-and-match strategies to bake maximum resilience into your overall response capabilities. Internal Recovery – ‘Sister-Sites’ Option: I always try to leverage internal recovery sites and seats into my strategies, wheneverRead More

Our Soft Targets MUST Be Hardened Now!

Soft targets have deeply concerned me for many years. One way or another all of our lives are touched when a soft target is attacked whether it is by an irate student, a person filled with hatred for others, nation states or terrorist organizations. As experts, we have the opportunityRead More

Cyber Security – Automated Virus Patching and Inventory Auditing is Critical!

My interviews with C level executives convey again and again that being the victim of a cyber-attack is their worst nightmare. Imagine walking into the office one morning, turning on your laptop and up pops a ransomware demand to access your files. If you do not meet the demand inRead More

Cyber Security for Business Continuity – Best Practices for Survival

In the ‘Cyber Security Threats and Vulnerabilities 101’ post we discuss cyber security risks that can potentially impact your employees and the continuity of your operations. Although your Cyber Security and Information Technology departments must secure mobile and desktop devices and the data on them, the survival of your businessRead More

Cyber Security – Your Laptops Have ‘Legs’

The fact that modern laptops are small, light and mobile means they can also be high-risk for us and low-hanging-fruit for criminals. That is a dangerous combination. Whether the criminal’s intent is to resell the hardware or sensitive information stored on the laptop the impact to you and your companyRead More

Cyber Security – C’s in the Hot Seat

I compiled this ready to use list in case your management is not paying attention or does not understand the criticality when you alert them to cyber threats, vulnerabilities and infrastructure risks. You can cherry pick some examples from this list that just might get their attention. Unfortunately, this list expandsRead More

Achoo!!! The 100 MPH – 20 ft Sneeze Can Become a Serious Health & Continuity Concern

People are our most important assets. I cannot tell you how to run your business but I will suggest when people are sick they be encouraged to work from home or take a sick day. Germs and disease can trigger a crisis. Many of us work in close quarters in ourRead More

Vital Records – Critical Low-Hanging Fruit

I can almost bet that there are vital records lurking in cabinets in private and public organizations that would cause an impact if they were not available during a disruptive event. There may even be some important documents ‘safely tucked away’ in that damp, dusty basement that floods every so often. ActRead More

Emergency Guidebooks (desk guides, flip books). Good Things Come in Small Packages

I suggest you consider making your guidebook simple, mobile, attractive and compact so people can easily carry it and have it on hand always. If it is too large and cumbersome it defeats the purpose, people will not use it…

Salvaging Vital Records – Act Fast and All May Not Be Lost!

You should strive to have copies of all vital records backed-up in digital format and physically stored safely off-site. If vital records are damaged it is important to have a process in place and a trusted vendor that can jump in and help save them. A good professional mitigation partner isRead More

Homeland Security – Bomb Threat Checklist, Guidance and Video

It is critical to prepare for a bomb threat. The Homeland Security Checklist, Guidance Brochure and Video information and links below are excellent! You can use it as-is or customize for your company. I leverage them for my programs and I wanted to share this important information with you. DHS-FEMA BombRead More

Hazards Central – Resources, Checklists, Playbooks and Tabletops

Hazard information at your finger tips! There is more natural and man-made hazard related business and personal information below than you or I could ever hope to assemble. The great news is we do not have to! Disclaimer: Because every emergency is different, it is important for your safety thatRead More

Plan for Pet(s) Tips – They Are Family

Our pets depend on their human ‘mommy and daddy’. How we plan for our pets prior to encountering a disaster can mean the difference between life and death! Pets are part of our family. I know my rescue dog Flakes (aptly named as he is a bit flaky and very ‘yappie’)Read More

‘In Case of Emergency’ (ICE) Saves Lives! Spread the Word!

You can get a lot of mileage out of this In Case of Emergency (ICE) tip.  I learned this tip while hosting a tabletop exercise years ago, one of the participants mentioned it and I have paid it forward during hundreds of tabletops, blog postings, newsletter alerts, dinner conversations withRead More

Shelter In Place – Dangerous Issues to Consider

During certain events, external to your location such as chlorine gas in the air, a chemical spill or a fast approaching tornado it often makes sense to shelter in place (internally). Develop a plan so that your organization can provide for your employees for 72 or more hours sheltering in place.Read More

Streamline Reporting Critical Events – Every Second Counts

Team with Your Safety and Security Professionals on the following tips. Tip – Place local fire, police and ambulance contact numbers plus the 911 emergency number on all desk handsets. Tip – Create wall signs and display them to re-enforce awareness for these potentially lifesaving critical numbers. Tip – AskRead More

Ideas for Your Disaster Supplies Kit – Basic, Beyond and Way Beyond

Employees should keep a kit at home and you may want to consider purchasing kits and go-bags to be kept at work. Leverage FEMA and the Red Cross for additional ideas. This is a starter list, not a definitive list of items. You must add, delete and modify to fit yourRead More

Emergency Operations Center – Critical Considerations

An Emergency Operations Center (EOC) or Command Center is a central command and control facility responsible for carrying out the principles of emergency preparedness and emergency management at a strategic level during an emergency, and ensuring the continuity of operations for your organization. Having a well thought out Emergency Operations CenterRead More

Evacuation – Drill Tips and Techniques

Make sure you team with your Safety and HR management before publishing any of these. They may not be in line with your corporate policies and procedures. You hopefully already have your own awareness tips in place. To the person that thinks he or she is too important…’No, you are notRead More

Evacuation – The Right Wardens and Searchers

I suggest you team up with Safety and Security to insure you have a strong network of wardens and searchers. These people are critical to the safety of your employees and the overall evacuation process. Also, network with the fire department to insure you have everything covered. Here a few tipsRead More

Prepare for Success
Evacuation – Why Every Second Counts!

This true story taught me to never take anything for granted.  Every second counts during an evacuation and you should never waste time. You should never needlessly put yourself in peril. Employee Safety is the Ultimate Concern. I was hosting a tabletop for a company in the mid-west and playingRead More

Why a Strong Incident Commander Is Critical for Success

I have partnered with all types of Incident Commanders (called Site Leaders in some organizations) during my career. Some were great and some not so great. I can confidently say that a strong, intelligent, confident, calming, take-charge, decisive leader is critical to successfully leading an organization through a crisis. My advice to you, ifRead More

It Takes a Village – Teams and Partnerships

To achieve real-world resilience, you must build strong and well-coordinated teams. Teams must meet and test often to be ready. A culture of resilience is critical to be truly prepared for disruptive events. The Crisis Management Team is critical as it is tasked with managing a crisis from start to finish.Read More

Safety of People is Always Our #1 Priority!

I HAVE ALWAYS STRESSED EMPLOYEE SAFETY AS A COMPANY’S NUMBER #1 PRIORITY SINCE THE FIRST DAY I STARTED BUILDING BUSINESS RESILIENCE PROGRAMS AND IT WILL ALWAYS BE THE TOP PRIORITY FOR ME. LIVES CANNOT BE REPLACED. EQUIPMENT, LAPTOPS, PHONES, SUPPLIES CAN BE REPLACED. WHEN YOUR EMPLOYEES ARE SAFE AND SECURERead More

Build Resilience Fast and Strong – Go Wide Go Deep

I will bet Tom Brady Manning looked into the eyes of his wide receivers in the huddle thousands of times over his successful career and said, ‘Go wide go deep ‘. When I played wide receiver, I loved when the QB told me to go wide go deep! Aggressively goingRead More

BC Fast Launch Tips

These tips are universal in value but may be especially helpful if you are new to the organization or initiating the business resilience program. I remember how those first few days can be long and stressful.

Building Critical Relationships

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.