How to sell Business Continuity to senior executives

  • Don’t: sell it as business continuity; sell it as resilience. Resilience is about discipline at every level - simple procedures for simple events, documented and working.

  • Do: drop the acronyms. (BIA, ROI, BCP, ISO)

  • Do: stress you need it not just for big catastrophes but for all the little events, which added together often far exceed the losses from one big one. I’m thinking: false alarms, power outages, severe weather, seasonal flu outbreak, transport disruptions etc.

  • Do: have a structure in place to manage such events and thereby reduce the negative impact on productivity. An added benefit is that your organisation becomes familiar with the process and is better prepared should a major catastrophe occur.

  • Don’t: start a presentation selling business continuity with pictures of 9/11 or some other disaster. Selling it as an antidote to doom and gloom is never a good look. Accentuate the positive.

  • Do: make it clear that business continuity helps companies with regulatory requirements, duty of care, customer satisfaction and competitiveness against the competition who might not take business continuity seriously.

  • Do: say that business continuity helps companies understand what's really important to their operation. It highlights what activities must be maintained, come what may.

  • Do: make sure when running an exercise or simulation that senior management is involved. But don’t forget to sell the benefits to the troops. You need their co-operation too.

What have I missed, what can you contribute?

Jim Preen (Head of media)