Year-End Roundup: Our Most Popular BCM Blogs of 2019

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With the clock running out on 2019, there’s no better time than now to take a look back at our most popular posts of the year.

In this last post before the year ends, I want to turn the spotlight back on our five most popular posts of the past 12 months, going by the number of clicks received. Or rather, I want to look at the four most popular plus one from farther down the list that I think deserves more attention based on how important the topic is.

What topics were of greatest interest to our readers this year? Going by the number of clicks, the topics our readers were most curious about in in 2019 were:

  • How BCM professionals can improve themselves and their teams
  • Which recovery plans a BCM program needs
  • Ways to obtain advance warning of disruptions
  • The dangers of skimping on crisis management training

The topic that was not among the most popular but which I think deserves more attention is:

  • Common ways BCM programs drop the ball and fail their organizations

Keep reading for the names of, links to, and my comments on these prime posts of 2019, along with a key quote or two from each.

The Human Factor: Optimizing Yourself and Your Business Continuity Team

It’s the human factor that determines whether a BC program thrives or flounders. We’ve seen rich programs that are a mess and ones run on a shoestring that are top-notch. Success is not up to how well-funded your program is, it’s up to you.

In the end, this is what it all comes down to. Are you and your team capable and prepared? If so, you’ll be able to recover. If not, you won’t. The post breaks down the personal and professional skillsets needed to excel at business continuity and shares tips on how to raise the performance of yourself and your team.

A common mistake we see is, managers hire new BCM practitioners with the idea of finding something for them to do once they’re onboard. If you did this as a baseball manager, you might end up with nine first basemen. No good baseball manager would ever do this and no BCM leader should either.

1 Program, 6 Plans: The Half Dozen Plans Every BCM Program Should Have

[The Emergency Action Plan] comes first because if you don’t protect your people, nothing else you have will do you any good.

I can see why this was a popular post: it covers the most critical territory in a simple way. It sets out the six plans that should be part of every business continuity management program and gives three tips on how to develop them.

The quality of your internal and external communication during a crisis can determine whether you sail through or flame out. Maintaining clear communication with your workforce during an emergency can help in preserving a sense of calm and order. Planning and providing consistent and clear communications for employees and external parties helps organize recovery efforts and reduce the anxiety employees face.

How Do BCM Offices Fail? Let Us Count the Ways

In on our experience working as BC consultants for firms of a range of sizes and industries, we see the same problems come up again and again. If you’re just starting a program, do yourself a favor: Try not to make any of the mistakes listed below.

This post sets forth 15 common mistakes BCM offices make then provides 10 keys to success to help you put your program on a solid footing.

Though not one of our top posts in clicks received, this post was one of the top in importance. That’s because the problems described in it are things we see nearly every day. These are the issues we are most commonly called in to fix by our clients.

No. 6: Trying to do everything at once. Too many programs try to “boil the ocean,” working on the entire organization versus targeting their efforts. They fail to identify high priority/high risk areas to heighten compliance and reduce risk in those areas. This is a guaranteed way to fritter away your energy.

Early Warning Systems: Giving Your Organization a Heads Up

The value of early warning systems for business has been recognized for some time. For example, the international business continuity standard ISO 22031 calls on organizations to have systems in place for providing early warning of potentially disruptive incidents.

This post discusses the purpose and benefits of early warning systems and talks about the options for setting one up. It also looks at the obstacles to doing so.

The topic is gaining in importance as the world grows more interdependent and threats more liquid.

The most famous early warning system that unfortunately did not exist was one that might have prevented the attacks of September 11. Only after the attacks did the government wake up and create the National Network of Fusion Centers. These centers synthesize intelligence gathered by various agencies to help authorities detect, prevent, and respond to attacks by terrorists and criminals.

Hitting the Ceiling: In A Crisis, You’re Only as Good as Your Crisis Management Training

If you haven’t practiced for dealing with a crisis, you probably won’t know what to do if one comes. It’s not a matter of being cool, it’s a matter of knowing a certain procedure and being able to follow it under pressure.

You want to be good at what you do? You have to practice. It’s as true in crisis management as it is in the NFL.

The post talks about the resistance many executives have to holding crisis management training and lays out the negative impact this can have on their organizations. It then lists ways crisis management commonly goes wrong at unprepared organizations.

This post harks back to where we started in that it shows the importance of the human factor.

In an emergency, strong leaders tend to take over and bull everybody over. This has a tendency to pull the level of the crisis response way down. It substitutes rationality and carefully thought-out procedures for the law of the jungle. The better trained a team is, the more likely they are to respond according to procedure.

SEE YOU IN 2020

I hope you found this review of 2019’s most popular posts helpful whether you read them previously or encountered them here for the first time.

Thanks for reading the blog over the course of the year, and we’ll see you again in 2020. We plan to keep the business continuity tips and stories coming.

For those interested in business continuity management software and personalized BCM and IT/disaster recovery consulting services, please explore the other parts of our site or contact us for more information.

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