The Value of Awareness and the Unexpected Fan Club

  • 18 Feb 2020
  • Daniel

I recently joked with my manager that I have a fan club of sorts. This is not to sound arrogant or boastful, but rather grateful that people actually care to hear what I have to say....even about business continuity. To some, business continuity may be boring, or some may ask why we care so much. Instead of restating the obvious, “we are all super passionate people” dedicated to our profession, I’d rather get into how we can show our passion through training. 
There is the old quote, “give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day; teach him how to fish and he’ll eat forever.” That is where my thoughts are when it comes to continuity.  Last February, I developed an hour long presentation to provide some general info about why business continuity was important to my company, and provided a few key “wins” for what we did for process improvement from an after-action task or how many notification messages went out. We essentially thought that we would put it out there to our branch coordinators, and did not really think attendance would be that large. Turns out we were wrong. Why? Well, we started bringing in real content in the form of case studies; impacts that really happened at our company. People can relate better to things that happen to people they know. If there is a flood in an office, we use that as a case study. If there is a computer outage caused by a downed carrier, we build that in a case study. We even found that with the outbreak of COVID, our company leadership asked us what are we going to do about it, even when none of our employees were directly effected? We turned that into a case study. 
You may be thinking, case studies may be boring. They don’t have to be. I use humor and bring my own goofy personality to it. Be authentic! By using these skills and having self awareness, as well as the confidence and facts to talk about why continuity is so important, it is possible to draw an average of 125 employees to your meetings. That is what I am seeing on a month to month basis.
Again, this is not a boast or a brag. This is about finding ways to make continuity accessible and not so alien to the normal day-to-day operation of a business. If we, as practitioners, can promote what we do in this fashion, this may just be a solid approach to help grow what we do.
Be yourself, and tell the stories that make us relevant. Plus, when you get to the point where you have developed a “following”, you know, the one your boss joked about, then you know you have built credibility and gained a foothold into the realm of awareness.

About the author

Daniel Olbur

Manager, Crisis Management and Business Continuity

I am a passionate client and community-focused Crisis Management and Business Continuity advocate. Business Continuity has been part of my DNA since 2005. Today, I help to manage an award winning business continuity and crisis management program. My team is involved in round the clock monitoring throughout various parts of the world, focused on pro-actively seeking out where incidents can and will take place. In my spare time, I am a father of three teenagers and married going on 20 years. I love theater, which comes in quite handy when doing exercises, and I am "roadie" for my son's rock and roll cover band, Six On Friday here in Chicagoland.