John Beattie: a new committee member for the BCI USA Chapter
Following the leadership nominations and elections for The BCI’s USA Chapter, we are pleased to be introducing the two new members joining the Chapter leadership over the course of two articles. Here, John Beattie outlines the challenges he has faced in Business Continuity (BC) and provides some advice for those in the sector.
Could you please tell us about your current role and how you got into Business Continuity?
I currently work in an advisory role helping organizations establish or mature their operational resilience programmes, spanning BC, crisis management, and IT disaster recovery.
What do you see as the emerging threats and risks in your region?
Of top concern to executives and boards is the threat of a successful cyber intrusion, such as through ransomware. I have been working for the past several years on expanding operational resilience programmes to deal with the top threat to business viability. This is both a challenging and exciting opportunity for those of us in the world of BC.
What has been one of your greatest challenges in this industry?
Breaking down the silos across the disciplines that comprise operational resilience. In addition to BC, crisis management, and IT disaster recovery integration, third-party risk management is a key programme to integrate with.
What changes would you like to see in this sector?
This is the most thought provoking question. Two words come to mind: “detail” and “actionable”. All too often I see plans that I’m certain will prove useless at a time of disruption. That was apparent when COVID hit us all. Plans that were focused on reduction in workforce were useless. Plans that had a broader focus, and some did, were nearly spot-on.
What piece of advice can you share for others working in this sector?
Recognize that you can add tremendous value to an enterprise. Don’t get complacent by just checking boxes about the number of plans updated on time or some other metric that, in the grand scheme of things, doesn’t matter. Challenge the business (dare I say, make them nervous) about understanding the threats that can disrupt ongoing viability and about being prepared to respond to them effectively and efficiently.
What are your plans for the future within this Chapter?
I hope to foster increased cross communication and sharing of experiences, so we can all benefit from the challenges and issues faced by our peers.
Anything else you want to add?
It will be both an honor and a pleasure to work within the USA Chapter.
About the author