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The resilience challenge for the business continuity profession

News   •   Aug 04, 2015 16:15 BST

Since its inception, the goal of the Business Continuity Institute has been to promote a more resilient world, and with so much attention being placed on resiliency in recent years, never has this goal been more pertinent. To help introduce the paradigm shift to resilience that we are currently experiencing, the BCI 20/20 Think Tank (UK Group) has published a new white paper that draws on recent ideas relating to the discipline which demonstrate the vital role that business continuity has in advancing its concept and prepare BCI members for entering the next stage of progression under its umbrella.

The resilience challenge for the business continuity profession positions BC as an integral part of resilience, the benefit of which can be felt in a variety of ways throughout an organization. It directly impacts on operational decision making and problem solving, allowing leaders to respond in a manner consistent with strategic intent. It also enables organizations to increase adaptive capacity, maximise competitive advantage and become more agile to changes in the business environment.

The paper notes that building resilience goes beyond BC and requires substantial input from other protective disciplines. This represents a real opportunity for BCI members to advance professionally with high-level thinking and a fundamental understanding of risks which may prepare them to undertake future roles at the top level of their organizations. Thinking about resilience and aligning one’s actions to strategic goals will also strengthen the accountability of professionals in the protective disciplines as well as an organization’s top management.

Bill Crichton, Membership director of the BCI and Chair of the 20/20 UK Group, noted: “It is recognised by many in the wider resilience community that both the individuals within it, and the professional bodies representing them, will need to grow their relevant skills and develop closer links with the other related disciplines. This first published white paper from the BCI’s UK 20/20 Group; The resilience challenge for the BC profession, is aimed at both promoting the changes needed to move the profession forward and challenging us as practitioners to develop and enhance the additional skills required to meet to achieve the resilient future.

The paper concludes that BCI members should realise the business environment has changed dramatically and it is necessary to adapt in order to stay relevant. The paradigm shift will likely demand a change in knowledge, skills and competencies of BCI members. In addition to technical know-how and the BC specialism, BCI members may increasingly be expected to exercise strategic communication skills as they work with other professionals. Ultimately, as the way to resilience heralds changes in business practice, it also uncovers opportunities. By accepting and responding to the changes, BCI members can profit from these opportunities.

Comments (1)

    This is a great initiative.

    I wrestled hard with this concept for many years as a practitioner and came to the conclusion that the link between BCM and Corporate Social Responsibility was not that far - the former looks at resilience WRT risks in the short term or short term acting risks, and the latter addresses risks in the long term - or long term acting risks (including boiling frog risks).

    BCM practitioners will need to think wider and longer term about environmental, social, political and economic risks and their impact on the long term survival of the business if they are serious about resilience. BIAs will need to be much wider in their view of enterprise wide risks, asking questions such as;

    * what is the reliance of the business on finite natural resources (see
    * what is the effect of the ageing population on productivity (skill inflexibility) and capital (cost of pensions and worker's comp)?

    To read more, there's a chapter on this in my recent book; Practical Enterprise Risk Management; How to Optimize Business Strategies Through Managed Risk Taking

    Liz Taylor FIRM

    - Liz Taylor - Aug 05, 2015 09:12 BST

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