Business continuity is the process of maximizing resilience and the organization's ability to weather crises and bounce back as a going concern.
In risk management, we ask ourselves how likely it is that some event or impact is going to happen and how badly it will hurt us. In business continuity, we must assume that in the long-term all bad things eventually happen and we therefore must plan for them all.
These two different ways of looking at the world can be at odds with each other, but they both can also simultaneously be at odds with the goals of the organization when those goals are narrowly defined as profit maximization in the short-term. Tighter security, for example, may hinder organizational flexibility. Built in redundancies, for business continuity purposes, are often inefficient and at odds with being a lean organization. Fraud controls can build into stifling bureaucracy. It can seem like the different goals of an organization can be fighting against each other.
Fortunately, there is at least one thing that can be done that helps all around. There is a single activity your organization can do to both maximize business effectiveness and minimize risks of all sorts and that is process analysis and mapping.
Some companies manage their processes very closely, while others do not do so at all. Some organizations might be surprised to discover they are already doing process mapping. Many are doing it in isolated silos without communicating the fact to the rest of the organization. Business continuity, compliance, and operations management often engage in process mapping, all for their own purposes, without sharing their findings. So much more can be done if the results of these activities are communicated and become known to all the stakeholders of a process.
Process mapping is so important because it allows you to know yourself better and knowing yourself is step one in doing everything better. Want to hire better? You need to start by better understanding how you are hiring now. Want to make better products? Start by understanding the product design and production processes you have now. Want to lower fraud, increase resilience, lower legal risk, and still be more flexible? Understand your current processes and you can.
The chart below looks a little more closely at some of the many ways understanding your processes better can yield tremendous benefits across the organization.
Erudite Risk offers risk management and security-related professional services for multinational companies operating in the Asia-Pacific region. With operations in India, Korea, and Singapore, Erudite Risk is ready to help you meet the challenges of Asia, the most dynamic and challenging business environment in the world.
Rodney J. Johnson is President of Erudite Risk. He has lived in Asia for most of his adult life, but still longs for good Mexican food.
Read a related post at The Erudite Blog:
Security is important everywhere. Having said all that, security is not the only concern and it probably should not even be the main concern. The main concern is, and always will be, usability.
“The wicked leader is he who the people despise. The good leader is he who the people revere. The great leader is he who the people say, we did it ourselves.” — Laozi (Lao-Tzu)