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  • Writer's pictureErika Andresen

Business Continuity is a Gift

There are a lot of professions that are gifts to the world. Doctors, nurses, first responders, scientists who create things, researchers who develop cures to our issues. And business continuity professionals.

The professionals who do business continuity are a gift to the profession. Ask any business that has a business continuity plan, used it, and is still standing as a result.  How do people go into business continuity? They are in an allied profession and evolve into it. Or are voluntold and stay because they love it.

How did I get in the game? I was voluntold. I didn’t think about or know anything about business continuity (although I was practicing it!) or emergency management. I was enamored with the ability to be in the worst of a situation and help people. I was advising how we were going to respond and deal with the disaster in the confines of our base as well as what we were going to be able to do for the surrounding community. That led my to thinking about further education in government response to disasters.

That experience is why I got my MPA. Having an MPA (and a JD) allowed me to be a professor of emergency management. That and the fact my first exposure to disasters wasn’t my only exposure. I had disasters to deal w at every other place I was stationed: wildfires, war, pandemic. I became a subject matter expert and developed (very) useful skills. And translated that to helping businesses.

Am I being bold in declaring my own profession a gift to the world? I have back-up. The international community and governing bodies think so, too.

The United Nations has an office of Disaster Risk Reduction that promotes the Sendai Framework across the world, with the #1 focus being increasing the resilience of SME’s (that’s business continuity). The US Department of Commerce thinks similarly (Economic Development Administration and NIST both support businesses being competitive, hence Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies and the Cybersecurity Framework, respectively, which…are business continuity). And FEMA, too. By promoting the Whole Community response, which speaks to how important local businesses are in the recovery efforts of communities (and they can’t be there without business continuity), they promote mitigation and preparedness...for businesses...which is business continuity.

Am I a broken record? No, business continuity is literally everywhere. On purpose.

Business continuity is also a gift because it is transcendent. It doesn’t just keep doors open and cash flowing. It keeps businesses alive. Employees employed. Customers satisfied. Communities thriving. And business continuity practitioners have a talent – we augment reality with extra information so people can make real-time decisions AND while we can’t predict the future, we can help create it.

If that isn’t a gift, I don’t know what is. And tis the season for gifts!

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