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  • Writer's pictureErika Andresen

“No, *I* Want to Do It!” – Why You Can’t Have a Child Mentality in Business

You know how young kids stubbornly insist on doing something themselves even though it will take longer, not be done as well, or just plum fail? Then the adult comes in and helps, fixes it, or just does it?

Welcome to the (sometimes) life of a Business Continuity expert.

Last week during the snowstorm that blew through the northeast, NYC thought it was going to switch back on the remote learning so the kids wouldn’t lose a snow day. They made that decision the night before. This is all well and good. And it was an epic failure.

I’ve talked many times about how K-12 schools in particular were more vulnerable thanks to quick (and sloppy) conversion to remote learning for the pandemic. Unlike higher education institutions – which had experience with online courses – the K-12 were following the curve and not ready.

Parents and teachers pointed out the obvious: “I know this is a huge undertaking. But the preparedness just seems lacking.” “…we are seeing the same thing happen all over again [from the pandemic]. The lack of preparedness when it comes to technology for our NYC students, educators, and staff.” The mayor said it would be a “teaching moment” for the city. You never let a disaster go to waste!

How was it different from the pandemic? What was “better” this time around? The Department of Education tested out the system a few weeks ago (wonderful!), but they didn’t include IBM in that test. A bit of an oversight: The systems require authentication by IBM. Last week there were authentication problems with IBM which prevented the teachers and students from logging in.

So that is an F+. They upgraded the system and tested it because they heard a thing or two about how that would be beneficial. They thought about the fact that there might be snow days which would be a good opportunity to bring the remote learning back just for a day or two, so the kids don’t lose spring break or summer break days. A proper expert, however, would know you test all components of a system…especially the one that lets you in the front door.

Honestly, I am happy that anyone is doing any type of preparation, even this faulty test. It’s starting the conversation. It’s lubricating the brain to think, “Oh, hey, is it possible this isn’t something we can rely on?”

And epic failures point out yes, maybe we need to pay more attention to this sort of thing and invest in it instead of half-measures. It's not your fault if you don't know what you are doing are half-measures...but an expert will know!

There are many free tools available (even one in my book!) but what makes the difference is having someone who knows what they are doing guide you through the steps so you don’t mess it up. It’s all a learning process, even learning that you need an adult to step in and help.

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