If the names of Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen don’t immediately strike a chord, at least in business continuity, you could be forgiven. Yet their sage advice has been around for some time. It dates from 1944, when they wrote the lyrics and the music for the song “Accentuate the Positive”. How does it go? “You’ve got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative, don’t mess with Mister In-Between”. Does this work for business continuity plans? Here are two ways to try: the first is in identifying opportunities and the second in eliminating redundancies.
The risk analysis that is part of a business continuity plan doesn’t have to be seen as a negative activity. True, it’s important to identify the things that could go wrong and to take steps to prevent disaster. On the other hand, planning for risk and overcoming it can also show up business opportunities, especially if you specifically make opportunity evaluation a part of the planning process. In other words, you accentuate the positive.
Similarly, reviewing the different activities of an enterprise in the light of business continuity may bring to light unnecessary redundancy between operations. If you can point to possibilities to stop wastage without undue impact on the company’s health, then you can eliminate the negative as well.
And Mister In-Between? Business continuity plans that are clear, constructive and practicable have better chances of success. Those that are too vague, too timid or too tepid condemn BC to a back seat at best.