There is power in a muse!
In ancient Greek mythology, the Muses were any of the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyn that symbolised the arts and sciences and gave artists, philosophers and individuals the necessary inspiration for creation.
In the same way, some artists and designers of today often have a particular “muse” in mind when they are working. It helps the creative process and serves as inspiration to produce the best work they can. It may also explain why all of the models on the catwalk look the same!
It does not take a great leap of the imagination to see how this idea has been developed into tailoring individual products that are marketed to an identified customer base. But I digress.
I like the idea of a muse, and find that utilising this device is quite useful when I am developing and writing BC plans on behalf of organisations and departments. It helps to keep the plan short, simple, clear, meaningful and relevant to the individual organisation. It doesn’t matter if the plan involves manufacturing or service delivery, having the right people in mind when written, will improve its chances of success.
I have two muses that I think about when I am developing BC plans, and they are both anxious people.
The first, is the person that has made contact and needs one of the organisations key services or products.
The second, is the person who works for the organisation and has to deliver that key service or product using the business continuity plan during a disruption. Which, more often than not, will occur at 2am with reduced staff on duty, and the only reference available is the BC plan.
This of course is no bad thing, providing the BC plan is a quality validated product. I have read some plans that say “If you are activating this plan, then go to page 57” – not what you want to see at this time of the morning.
Incidentally, if you have to quality assess BC plans, the 2am test is a good one – but that’s a discussion for another time.
For me, Business Continuity is simply all about people. In my experience, when BC planning assumptions look after our two muses, the work streams that stem from that will be grounded and relevant. As a consequence, I think that profitability, sustainability, reputation, staff and customer loyalty will follow. You may have other muses that you would like to add to this list, but really, if your plan looks after staff and customers, your well on the way to developing a resilient organisation that has the ability to bounce back after a disruption.
I think that planning in this way produces the best return on investment for the organisation as well as creating the following long term benefits:
· Increased social capital from the workforce
· A loyal customer base
· A reliable and trustworthy reputation
· Confident and capable teams ready to face a disruption
· Customer confidence
· Organisational strength
· Improved layers of resilience
Now that is priceless.