Plan for the “What If’s” with Strategic Values in Business and at Work

As I write this blog post late Sunday afternoon, the power, internet and work landline at my home office have been out for nearly 12 hours – thanks to a rotten / dead tree falling on a rotten utility pole, splitting it in half.  Fortunately, as a member of several co-working spaces in multiple cities across the Tech Valley region, I have access to an office with functioning air flow, WIFI, a desk, chair and electrical outlets 10 minutes away. After I wrap up this blog post, I’ll be able to still make a dent in the client work tasks I had planned to complete today. (While clients may periodically reach out on a Sunday, I don’t expect any client communication today.)

And if the power is still out tomorrow morning, I have several options to complete my planned Monday client work tasks remotely as well, with the same good co-working resources.

Business continuity planning applies to every business, regardless of its size. Before my HR career, I worked in stakeholder / employee communications and press relations. In both HR and press relations, you do everything you can to support the success of the organization by preparing for the What-If’s with a business continuity plan, such as (knock wood):

  • The reputation-killing public misbehavior of an executive;
  • A natural disaster / weather event where employees cannot get to work;
  • Robbery (internal and external);
  • As well as power outages at your place(s) of work.

Preparing for these challenging events represents the majority of proactive work needed for business continuity planning and response – particularly by ensuring compliance with applicable laws and regulations on all levels, as well as having the appropriate business insurance policies in place.

For the potentially reputation-killing events, such as the misbehavior of a company executive, it’s also important for every organization to be crystal clear both internally and externally as to how such business continuity responses to reputational threats dovetail with their strategic organizational values – for it is those values which act as the compass pointing to the true north of any organization’s ethical core. That true north prepares an organization’s leaders for any challenge, planned or not.

How do your organization’s strategic values prepare you to respond effectively and authentically to business continuity challenges, in business and at work?

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