Does a Business Continuity Consultant Interfere?

Interference has negative connotations, and a business continuity consultant should bring something positive, not negative, to an organisation. However, if an organisation is to derive any benefit from the services of a BC consultant, there has to be change at some level. Change has to be driven or at least guided. Change is disruptive by definition. The question that organisations sometimes ask, “Will these consulting methods interfere with what we currently do?”, really has to be another question: “How can these consulting methods bring something that is not seen as interference, but as positive change?”

It’s something of a paradox. On the one hand, you want a business continuity consultant to help your business to continue to run as planned (meaning no change), but you’ll only bring them in if you’re convinced that you need to do something or do something differently (meaning change). The underlying danger is that producing the change needed may be seen as interference by people in your organisation if they do not perceive the change as desirable, positive or both.

An effective business continuity consultant is as much involved in change or transformation as a consultant in any other part of the activity of an organisation. This means that not only is BC management about change management, but also about management of reaction to that change. The best business case in the world for BC, although always to be striven for, won’t be enough if the people making the business work aren’t convinced.

Interference happens when someone from the outside doesn’t know what should be done or doesn’t take the time to work with the people “at the sharp end” and correctly manage reactions and perceptions. Business continuity consultants should never interfere in this sense, because their involvement should be, and should be presented as, a constructive and desirable contribution to building a better business for the people working in it.