Leadership - a business continuity risk

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Top management should demonstrate leadership and commitment with respect to business continuity management (BCM) by ensuring that policies and objectives are established and that they are compatible with the strategic direction of the organisation.

So said Brian Henry, CEO at Caridon Business Solutions, speaking at the ITWeb Business Resilience 2014 event yesterday at Montecasino.

According to Henry, the main purpose of BCM is to ensure that an organisation has an effective response to major disruptions that threaten its survival.

He pointed out that best practice, good governance and directors' accountability codes all now indicate that BCM and risk management are not negotiable and the board of a company is accountable, even though responsibility may be delegated to managers, committees and forums.

Henry believes that leadership can be a risk and, to avoid this, persons in top management and other relevant management roles throughout the organisation should demonstrate leadership with respect to BCM.

The only way to measure leaders is the achievement of the strategic and value creation goals that are set for and by them, and whether they have performed efficiently and effectively in achieving them, he added.

Henry believes that a strategy is not just a conversation - it directs a plan of action, and should be aimed at improvement and value-add to an organisation.

"A poorly executed strategy often destroys value and a well-executed strategy adds value; otherwise it just shows that it was a poor strategy to begin with."

According to Henry, around the world, for more than a decade, leadership performance and value have continued to decline faster than inflation rates have risen.

The investment in the larger leadership group remains one of the worst performing corporate investments and the fastest-growing strategic risk, said Henry.

He believes that true leadership emerges in a crisis and it's often not from the senior person present. "People who do not know what to do follow the person who appears to know what to do. in a leadership vacuum; that could be anyone," he added.

Being appointed to a position of seniority does not automatically make you a leader, said Henry. All that it does is raise an expectation for you to plan, organise, lead and control the teams and individuals reporting to you.

Henry maintains leadership and commitment can be shown by motivating and empowering employees to contribute to the effectiveness of the business continuity management systems.

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