As a business continuity manager, you are likely to be involved in getting your colleagues to take business continuity seriously and ensure that their own departments will continue to function even in adverse conditions.
Those names in a list might make a group of people to work with, but that doesn’t necessarily mean collaboration is part of the package.
If collaboration is missing, then so the “act of working together to produce or create something” will be missing too.
Which could all too easily mean one department “ticking the box” for business continuity for itself, yet neglecting to plan to give vital support to others.
Check out the 3 ways below to get collaboration going.
- Set the example. Work together with departmental, unit, and team managers, and show them that you are taking their specific needs onboard, and planning BC with them that makes sense. Get them to do the same with their own “internal customers” in the organisation.
- Build the right skillsets. Let’s go Theory Y on this, i.e. we assume that people want to do good and see their department and the business flourish. They may not necessarily know or even know about business continuity. Your job as a BCM will include inculcating at least the basics on business continuity management and planning for them to stand on their own two feet.
- Give suitable rewards. No, it doesn’t have to be promotion, or a better company car (which you may not be able to offer anyway). On the other hand, telling the CEO how constructive and capable someone has been about BC, or simply thanking that person after a particularly effective BC action, could be ample reward for many.
As a BCM, you probably won’t be able to decide who runs a business unit, so your efforts to promote collaboration won’t include this kind of decision.
Instead, work with what you’ve got and apply the three principles above to get finance to support sales continuity, procurement to support production continuity, and so on for any other positive cross business unit influence.