Getting Management Buy-In
April 19, 2017 - The buy-in and support of executive leadership is critical to the success of every effort. Whether you're just establishing a business continuity or disaster recovery plan or changing or adding to it, you know that you have to convince top management to support it. How do you do that? This issue discusses the many aspects of getting management buy-in.
A consistent theme in articles on business continuity plan development is the need to create buy-in at the upper management level. As recognition increases about the key role a well developed, maintained and exercised Business Continuity Plan plays in the make-up of a robust company or organization, it is critical to recognize that the role of upper management should evolve beyond buy-in.
Senior executives have a lot on their plate. They tend to view business continuity in terms of growth, competitiveness, and profits for shareholders. Yes, the unavoidable capital and workforce investments are factors in keeping everything going, but who wants to spend more money and resources to recover from something that may never happen? Isn't a business continuity plan just another insurance expense?
Let's face it. Organizational resilience, business continuity & disaster recovery program management requires buy-in from the entire organization, from the top down, across all departments & across external service partners & providers. Everyone needs to understand how they fit into organizational operations during normal day-to-day operations & also during a disruptive event. Without buy-in, even the best laid resilience plan won't work.
If you think your management loves to listen to you talk about your great idea for a disaster recovery site, or a perfect tool you've discovered for handling business continuity plans, you're wrong -- they just don't care. What management wants to hear (and does understand) are profit, market share, client satisfaction, cost cutting, business strategy, and business risks. And you can't blame them -- after all, this is what their job is about. So, if you can't change them, you have to change yourself -- first of all, if you want them to listen to you, you have to start speaking the language they understand.
"I've been thinking about continuity and I wanted you to know you've got an unlimited budget to do what it takes." These are the magic words that every BC/DR professional wants to hear from their CEO. Also, coincidentally, the magic words that no BC/DR professional will ever hear from their CEO. Paradoxically, support for BC/DR is just as unlikely to come from below---putting you in the awkward position of convincing the organization to value business continuity only after you help senior management see they need to find it valuable, too.
6. Lack of participation by C-Suite executives in crisis planning identified as a key weakness in many organizations
Chief executives, managing directors and other senior business leaders are failing to take crisis preparedness seriously and risk undermining their organization's ability to manage crises, according to a recent crisis management survey. The survey of 170 large companies from 27 countries revealed that while big business now understands the need to prepare for a crisis (86 percent have a crisis management plan and 59 percent carry out crisis training at least annually), too often its senior leaders do not participate in this specialist training or crisis exercises.
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