Business Continuity is about looking at history and reading the tea leaves. Trendspotting, if you will. Natural disasters are being more frequent, more fierce, and showing up more in places where they never happened before. Cyber is an everyday threat (and had been coming in like a freight train for years). BUT those are not the focus of today - today is more of the oddities that you never thought of but are examples of making sense and acting.
What do the Attica Prison Riot (1971) and the killings of Israeli team members in the Munich Olympics have in common (1972), aside from innocent people being killed? They were the inspiration, along with a hostage situation in a sports store in Bushwick 6 months later (1973), for the NYPD to create the first hostage-negotiation unit in the world. The 70s were an interesting time. People were being killed all over the world and in terrorists hijacking planes became common. Attica and Munich were just two examples of how negotiations didn't go well. At all. The handling of authorities coming in to save the hostages wound up getting them killed. The creation of the unit prepared the NYPD for a hostage situation that happened in 1975.
How does creating a hostage-negotiation unit in a city police department related to business continuity? Seeing and responding to a trend. The NYPD didn't want to bungle the response the way the authorities did with the hostage takers. Business owners, too, don't want to get caught on the back foot when a trending disruption happens. Prepare so you can carry on and thrive.
Did you know that New York City is training nightlife workers (bartenders, go-go dancers) to save lives? The city funded naloxone training for preventing deaths from overdoses. Naloxone (aka Narcan) is frequently used to reduce the impacts of opioid abuse, commonly to reverse decreased breathing from an overdose. Deaths from the opioid crisis increased with the stress from COVID-19. Where we these overdoses happening? Out in the clubs. Allowing an informed and trained public to assist first responders by rendering aid first in the most critical time, assists not only the victim, but also the first responders so they can respond to other calls due to the shorter turn around time.
But how does this city policy relate to business continuity? Training and enabling a process to be addressed and solved so life goes on (literally). That is creative thinking. You can think outside the box.
Would anyone have predicted that activists would attack works in museums to make a point? Political activists want to make a statement and get attention. One trend in current headlines is famous works of art and environmental, anti-oil activists. They are attacking the masters - VanGogh, Klimt, Monet, da Vinci, Vermeer, Warhol. That is not unintentional - lesser known works wouldn't garner the headlines. They are throwing substances on the works of art in museums, at times gluing themselves to the works. The damage tends to be minimal as there are protective coatings on the works, but the frames are damaged and the works need to come down to be cleaned. Museums and galleries are now thinking differently about their assets.
Trendspotting...is key to business continuity. And choosing to act before you are reacting.