A day in the life - Russ Williams AFBCI
My Career Background
I have been a Business Continuity and Resilience professional for 18 years. I started my career in technology (Telecommunications) which lead me into BC, and I have been fortunate enough to work all over the world, in pretty much every market sector you can think of, for some of the world’s most recognised organisations.
What I Do Now
For the last four years I have worked for a specialist Business Continuity, Technology and Software provider in the UK. My role as Principal Consultant sees me working with clients to design Business Continuity and Resilience solutions, from pre-sales to implementation. This is very varied and can involve anything from working on a one-off Crisis Management exercise, deploying a Business Continuity software solution, or managing a full BC programme as an outsource over many years.
A Typical Work Day
Given the variety inherent with my role there isn’t really a ‘typical day’, especially over the last few months, but if there were it might look something like this.
0800 – Catch up on emails and plan my day, whilst drinking a lot of coffee
0900 – Client calls / Proposal writing
1200 – Grab a quick sandwich, and more coffee
1230 – Weekly call with team or boss
1300 – Software demonstration
1400 – Delivery work (this can vary from competing a BIA, planning an exercise, writing a plan or report)
1700 – Round off the day by making sure I have responded to any outstanding emails
Other days, I could be on the road travelling visiting clients or colleagues in many locations throughout the UK (not at the moment of course, given the COVID effect).
Favourite Parts of My Job
It has to be the variety of people and organisations I have the privilege of working with. I am part of a great team, and work with a truly diverse set of clients who challenge me every day.
Most Memorable Incident
As I’ve been in Business Continuity for such a long time there are many, many incidents that I have been involved in over the years, whether that was on the periphery in a support capacity or leading the response. I can’t narrow it down to one, so here is a selection of memorable ones; A major fire affecting the telephone network and 130,000 telephone lines in Manchester in 2004, the London terrorist attacks in 2007, the Fukushima Nuclear disaster in 2011 (supporting colleagues in Asia) and Hurricane Sandy in 2012 (supporting colleagues in the USA).
My Goals for the Future
My immediate goals are to attain my FBCI certification, which I currently preparing my application for. More widely, working with the BCI I would like to continue to help develop our discipline, and support my clients to meet the new world we face and the challenges that will undoubtedly bring.
Words of Advice for Other Business Continuity Practitioners?
Keep learning, the day you think you know it all you might as well call it a day, because you absolutely won’t. Keep it simple, the simplest solutions are more often than not the ones that work best. Lastly, don’t look at Business Continuity and Resilience as an academic endeavour or a tick box exercise, whatever you develop for your companies or clients has to be practical and work.
About the author
Operational Resilience Lead
I am an experienced and award winning Business Continuity, Crisis Management, Risk and Resilience professional, having worked at a senior level for some of the world’s foremost organisations. I am currently (Vice) Head of Professional Conduct at the BCI.