Nobody Puts Clyde in a Corner!

Nobody puts Clyde in a corner. That’s why his “corner” is actually a column! Wondering what Clyde is doing here? Well, last year he told us all we needed to know about New Orleans. This time around, Clyde clues us in to what’s up in Philadelphia (the destination for DRI2013) with weekly columns leading up to the conference. And who knows, he might even review Philly’s hippest dance clubs. C’mon Clyde, we know you can do “the lift.”

Last week we spoke of hoagies and Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, and one reader let us know that in his neck of the woods these sandwiches are called submarines (subs). Any other catchy names out there for these meat-and-cheese-loaded meals in a roll? Or is it a bun or hero loaf? Never mind. Whether real cheese, Cheese Whiz, provolone, American, or Swiss, roast beef, prime rib, salami, or chicken, the sandwiches vary from café, to restaurant, to dive, to diners or drive-ins. Maybe, these sandwiches are even called Po Boys – remember New Orleans ya’ll. A Po Boy has shredded lettuce, pickles, mayo and gravy with the meat & cheese of your choice. So where ever you buy your sandwich; whatever you choose to put in it – it’s your choice, your brand, your decision. But you might want to check out this Philly food truck’s Korean Bulgogi Cheesesteak, which recently made Food & Wine’s Best Sandwiches in the U.S. list.

As with the cheesesteak, there are countless combinations and permutations of how BC planning is done, where it resides in your organization (IT, operations, R&D, audit, risk management, etc.), what your BC project lifecycle looks like, what your plan structure is, who actually does the work, how the plans are tested, how you do your training, where emergency and crisis management fit in, and who the ultimate decision makers are at time of disaster. Every organization and consulting firm approaches BCP a little differently. The moving parts are similar, but the sequence and style may differ.

Is there one right way to do BC planning? Is there one BC philosophy to adhere to? Is there only one way to configure your BCP organization? Are there just one set of BC tools to use and invest in? Is there one way to audit your program? Is there one way to test your plans? Is there only one way to communicate at time of an outage? Of course the answer is no. Business continuity planning is as diverse a field as any you will ever encounter. It is more an art than science in the opinion of some.

That’s what makes our work interesting. As pretty much a life-long BCP guy (25 plus years), I have seen plans written and researched in dozens of different ways – each specific to the organization of which it was a part. That’s what makes this challenging and fun. There is no one right way, one format, one approach, one philosophy, one single set of action plans and characteristics. No, not one – there are many, many comprehensive and viable solutions to the perplexing question: “How should I approach this?”

When I teach classes for DRI International, my students kindly share their experiences and their program models and corporate BC philosophies. Trust me, the combinations and permutations are really endless. But in every case, DRI International’s Professional Practices help you to lay the foundation for responsible planning.

Attending the DRI2013 conference in Philadelphia will provide you with an opportunity to sample the different varieties of Philly cheesesteaks and will allow you the opportunity to hear our speakers talk about the different ways that BC planning can be done with a successful outcome at your company. The diverse nature of our attendees and their experiences will make for interesting conversation while munching on your preferred style of hoagie (hero, submarine, Po Boy). Variety and diversity are the spice of life.

Have a great week,
Director of Volunteerism and Vice President