Perhaps you’ve already come across Duct Tape Marketing, a popular business book about successful marketing for small businesses. Duct tape, as you may know, is the strong adhesive tape you can use as a quick fix to bind many different things together especially if you don’t have any other solution. It stops things from falling apart, falling over, leaking or separating when they shouldn’t. Is a ‘duct tape’ approach possible for business continuity too? And if so what would be the ‘duct tape’ to make it happen?
It turns out that the title of the book may be a bit of a stretch compared to its contents. With a slogan of ‘Stickiness – marketing that sticks like Duct Tape’, the methods proposed are based more on top-down business strategy. On the other hand, readers seem to appreciate the book for its simplicity, its orientation towards action and its ‘let’s do it now’ approach. In other words, the book scores higher on the freshness of its approach, rather than on any innovation in its material. Readers also note the emphasis on planning and the design of programs to support key business objectives.
Business continuity experts too stress the importance of strategy, planning and ongoing programmes, instead of hasty moves to ward off impending catastrophe. They’re right: any sustainable BC strategy needs a solid foundation that is aligned with the organisation’s activities and customer requirements. In business continuity circles, the ‘quick fix’ has a bad press. However, the ‘quick win’ is a different matter. Scoring visible and appreciable victories early on in the implementation of business continuity can be of considerable help in gaining acceptance and support. This is perhaps where tactical ‘duct tape’ style actions are valuable for business continuity – on the understanding that there’s more than duct tape to hold the whole programme together.