In our personal and professional lives we constantly seek purpose. We agonize over the myriad choices we have when thinking about our ‘to dos’ as they relate to family, community, friends, and neighbors. We are forever pulled in multiple directions and often must make tough choices about the direction in which we will ultimately travel.
In our lives as business continuity managers, the dilemma is similar. Do I satisfy the boss’ most recent request, his last week’s request, face the crisis du jour, address the staff member’s family or home issues, write the status report (and dutifully fill in the red, green, and yellow boxes), review the results of the last exercise, complete the long overdue BIA, read that great article that a peer at another company just sent, provide feedback to the audit report (that wrongly associated you with a failure to properly foresee the future), have lunch with a colleague struggling to decide on his next career choice (or skip lunch entirely and hunker down for some well needed peace), run the errand that your significant other asked you do as you darted off to catch the morning train, do that required on-line data security class that was supposed to be completed yesterday, write the article for the latest edition of BCP news, prepare the PowerPoint presentation for the senior leadership team — “Why do we Need BCP”, or catch up on the 999 e-mail messages calling to be read (and hopefully and appropriately deleted with certain glee).
Our obligation as adults is to make choices, live by our choices, seek meaningful purpose, live our lives with integrity, follow through on our promises, and feel good when we know we did what was right. I, like you, am faced with choices and strive to live my life with purpose that I can be proud of. During the aftermath of Sandy I did small things. I chose to help my neighbors by cooking meals on the gas grill, helping to move downed tree limbs, calling and e-mailing the power company and local, county, state, and federal officials seeking their help and guidance.
As a BCP guy I spoke with particular clarity when finally in contact with our county legislator’s office. I would like to think that this may have helped us get power back in only six days. I let them know what I thought the power company and municipalities were doing wrong and how they were putting seniors, children, and those with disabilities at particular risk and harm. I calmly articulated what they needed to do. They listened intently and promised to do what they could. I used my BCP experience and knowledge pre- and post-storm as it related to house, neighbors, and loved ones. Yesterday, I purchased a variety of products to donate locally to those in need. These are just small deeds of goodwill. My choice is to help where I can. True, it may be just small contributions, but it still feels right. I am sure you are doing the same and with enthusiasm, rigor, and compassion. BC folks understand what bad things can do. We are good at planning and even better at caring.
A little outage or harmless incident sometimes wakes us all up a bit – senior leadership, BCP professionals, and the communities alike. But this? Oh my goodness, we never want for this. When this happens we start asking ourselves where we should start. These choices are real. These choices and the work that follows are the real deal. React, respond, recover, restore. Life safety comes first and then the hard work of recovering the business and all the many facets that make it go come next. We go by instinct. We proceed based on practice. We do so because we feel that it is part of our purpose. It’s what we do.
When pondering some of your choices, please do consider helping out in some way with Sandy relief or other relief efforts in your locale. Very soon we (DRI International and the DRI Foundation) will be providing news about how we would like you (our immense body of caring BC professionals) can mobilize and become a conduit for help and comfort to so many still suffering from Sandy.
Please volunteer to help where help is needed. As a nation of caring and giving people, we can make a difference in post-disaster assistance, pre-disaster helpful hints and protocols (to your community or local small businesses), or you can give to the charities of your choice. Please do.
Director of Volunteerism and Vice President