The Y2K problem was well known, but up until the bitter end, most organizations were having continuing difficulty making it a priority. Sadly, this is a typical pattern for many organizations that face the risk of significant technical emergencies. When there is enough time to plan, there isn't enough urgency to make it a priority, and when there is finally enough urgency, there isn't enough time. Yet, preparedness, as we know from the experience of the emergency management community, is the basis for survival in emergencies.
Much of the available advice about emergency preparedness makes the assumption that somehow you have succeeded in making preparation a priority when there is still enough time to do it in a routine manner. Since that situation is rare, this program assumes that the emergency is either already upon you, or that it's imminent, and there isn't enough time to prepare in the usual take-forever, yet-another-meeting, plan-then-plan-some-more manner. We assume that you're in a situation in which business as usual just won't cut it. Which leaves just one place to go — business as unusual.
For most organizations that are newly serious about planning for a technical emergency, there is usually a pressing situation. Perhaps it's a legal or regulatory deadline, or warnings about security vulnerabilities from authoritative source. Usually only a short time remains to install an emergency management plan. Senior managers cannot develop and roll out an emergency management plan in the usual centralized manner. Success depends upon communicating the idea of emergency management widely throughout the organization. This seminar presents four principles of emergency management planning that leaders can use to put in place an emergency management plan now. You'll learn how to apply these four principles to put in place an adaptable, responsive emergency management plan. The four principles are:
- Build a backup infrastructure
- All infrastructure systems are potential points of failure: electric power, communications, water, materials flow, fire protection, cash, transportation, and so on. Select the elements that pertain to the emergency you foresee, and focus your planning on them.
- Avoid central planning
- Distribute planning responsibility out through the organization as broadly and deeply as you can. Decentralized, accountability-based planning gives your organization a chance to practice what it most needs in an emergency — decentralized, accountability-based action.
- Run emergency drills and simulations
- The emergency management community learned this long ago — simulations smoke out coordination problems.
- Network with your supply chain
- Share lessons learned. Coordinate simulations and emergency drills. If you find a supplier who is emergency-asleep, you can replace them or plan for the consequences.
To succeed, senior managers must acquire a new way of thinking about emergency management and plan development, and staff must acquire new autonomy. In emergency situations, everyone must apply these learnings naturally. The program learning model makes these new skills and perspectives accessible even during moments of stress. Using a mix of presentation, group discussion, and simulation, we make available to participants the resources they need to take these new actions.
Executives and senior managers responsible for technical emergency planning and emergency response.
Available formats range from 50 minutes to one full day. The longer formats allow for more coverage or more material, more experiential content and deeper understanding of issues specific to audience experience.
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- "Rick is a dynamic presenter who thinks on his feet to keep the material relevant to the
— Tina L. Lawson, Technical Project Manager, BankOne (now J.P. Morgan Chase)
- "Rick truly has his finger on the pulse of teams and their communication."
— Mark Middleton, Team Lead, SERS