Modern working practices are changing the way that businesses operate. Workers are more widely distributed, and companies are more heavily reliant on technology as a driver of process rather than process driving technology.

Increasingly, businesses are hiring talent worldwide in an outsourcing capacity and that talent is becoming involved in creating and iterating strategic business planning. I know one small company that has twelve consultants worldwide, hold weekly team meetings and monthly strategy sessions, and yet no two members of the team have ever met in the flesh.

In this context, the way that a business must employ a business continuity risk assessment is changing to remain relevant in the 21st century: it is no longer enough to rely on the traditional continuity context of planning for disaster recovery – it is your corporate culture that will have a greater influence on your ability to continue operations.

Why culture must be embedded in your business continuity plan risk assessment

When people discuss culture it is easy to become bogged down in debate about race, creed, and religion instead of focusing on culture in the business frame. Every organization is unique, but each unique corporate culture impacts on the same corporate elements, including:

  • Strategy
  • Business models
  • Risk
  • Operational implementation

It is inherent that your corporate culture is embedded as an integral part of a business continuity plan risk assessment.

Assess the human side of your business

Culture is about why people do things, whereas process is about how things are done. The first step to ensuring that your corporate culture will ensure your business continuity plan risk assessment is fit for purpose and will help drive your business forward is to understand your culture. Ask these questions of your organization:

  • What does it value highest?
  • How are employees valued?
  • What recognition systems are in place to reward required behaviors?
  • Why do people ‘fit-in’?
  • Is there a strategic will to take acceptable risk?
  • How do leaders take decisions and communicate actions needed?

Technology is redefining business

The technological advances that we have experienced over the past two decades (and which we are experiencing continually) are redefining how business works. A more socially connected world is heightening the value that customers and organizations place on their people. Product businesses are becoming people businesses.

When planning for business continuity, leadership must make certain that their employees are energized and engaged. It is this engagement that will ensure that the organization is able to adapt to competition and have the determination to succeed through all challenges.

Involve managers in risk

Reaching and maintaining competitive advantage necessarily requires adoption of risk. Many companies fail to permeate the management of risk down to middle management, preferring instead to make it the sole remit of C-level executives.

Other managers delegate risk but do little in terms of risk mitigation. Regulatory requirements are increasingly stringent, and where these are applicable they should help to evolve your corporate culture.

Develop employee behavior

The business continuity plan risk assessment will be reliant on a culture of value-led behavior. In this regard, governance will need to make allowance for the impact of regulatory restraint, internal policies, and performance metrics. Continuity measures must be governed, and culture will drive how this is managed: for example, centrally controlled or decentralized, detailed roles or a high-level overview allowing more flexibility in procedures.

In summary

A business continuity plan risk assessment should be supported by a clear business need, and supported by the realization that corporate culture impacts all functions including continuity planning.

Your organization and its culture is unique. Your business continuity planning will need to be equally unique, and geared to access the benefits of your corporate culture.

Contact Primeast today and discover how a Change Agent Bootcamp, and coaching in Consulting and Facilitating, will help your organization take advantage of the modern, collaborative workplace.

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