What is the BC Manager profile?

Author: Manu Steens

Inspired by the pdf of I. Helsloot “Veiligheid als (bij)product” available at https: // www.ifv.nl/kennisplein/Documents/2012-helsoot-veiligheid-als-bijproduct.pdf

I divide this question into the following questions:

” Why should BC Managers have a good interaction with and knowledge of Crisis? What responsibility do they have in crisis? So what position should they have?

​There are all kinds of principles that apply in safety, which make safety what it is.​

One such principle is that “the BC Managers (basically) serve their boss” 

​More detailed this could mean the following:​

that they must be employed by their boss (for his strategic goals) because otherwise there is a threat to the organization that the advice of BCM would be one-sided, it would benefit ‘their own’ subject (partial interest, preferences), without meaningful management. Meaningful management is very often about available money to realize the strategic goals. This means that an external or poorly placed BC Manager cannot make a balanced assessment of interests. This can lead to inefficient and ineffective operation.​

This means that the advice in such a situation would be one-sided, dogmatic (“Just do it!”) and that there is no integral advice.​

​What does that mean?​

In fact, it comes down very much to countering an advice trick of one-sided advisors, who repeat the words (attributed to Trevor A. Kletz) that sound very nicely as a one-liner: 

“If you think safety is expensive, try an accident”.

​The trick to countering this nice-sounding but hollow phrase is as follows:​

The situation of the advice is dismissed as to whether you can compare the costs of the measures against one risk with the costs of the misery that arises when that one risk materializes. However, you do not know in advance which risk will ultimately lead to misery, so you would have to prepare your organization for all risks (the costs of which amount to infinite) while only one risk ultimately leads to misery.​ Do you have to choose? No, the measures must be carefully considered and coordinated where possible. Where possible, a measure should cover as many risks as possible.

An example could be “optimum telework” which is useful when a building is unavailable, but which can also help when a pandemic occurs, when a slope shear is imminent at the main building, when heavy storms are imminent, etc.

Even in a crisis, there is too little time to coordinate several possible matters.​

  • That is why the BC Manager must present the proposed measures in an integrated manner. And not just as a sum of advice swept together.​
  • Therefore, BC Managers must be well aware of the other matters and purposes of their own organization.​
  • That is why priorities must also be made in Risk Management and integrated measures must be taken.​
  • That’s why a BIA and an RA are needed before starting a BCP document set . 
  • And finally: that is why the BC Manager must also be well informed about the target group of the BCP: the Crisis teams and the CMT of the
    organization: what the structure is, who is in it, who needs to know what about BCM.​ What BCM can mean for them.

​To be able to do this efficiently and effectively, a BC Manager must also have sufficient capabilities, and be able to talk to the management team at level, so also have insight into their budgets.​

​This reasoning applies not only when preparing for a potential crisis, but also during and after a crisis in its aftermath, when advice to the CMT, sponsor and senior management is needed.​

​For such goals to be realized by the BC Manager, they must have a holistic view of the organization, internally but also externally in its environment.​

​To meet these requirements, a heavy profile is needed.

The answer whether the BC Manager should be included in the C-suite for this reason is still not given. Personally, I’d rather let that question pass by.

Manu Steens

Manu works at the Flemish Government in risk management and Business Continuity Management. On this website, he shares his own opinions regarding these and related fields. Since 2012, he has been working at the Crisis Centre of the Flemish Government (CCVO), where he has progressed in BCM, risk management, and crisis management. Since August 2021, he has been a knowledge worker for the CCVO. As of January 2024, he works at the Department of Chancellery and Foreign Affairs of the Flemish Government. Here, he combines BCM, risk management, and crisis management to create a tailored form of resilience management to meet the needs of the Flemish Government.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts