Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Who am I?

I'm having an identity crisis.

My business card states that I am a "Certified Business Continuity Planner."

Unfortunately, many people have no clue as to what a "certified business continuity planner" does.

Even within the industry opinions vary widely.

So, I looked closely at what I do and decided a better, more descriptive title would be "Enterprise Risk Management" what - maybe "practitioner"?

In truth, what I do is enterprise risk management - in the most simple terms, find a risk, avoid or mitigate the risk, teach people how to respond if the risk insists on occurring.

But looking at "risk manager" jobs on the Web shows me that "risk managers" often are associated with hospitals (I used to be a military medic, but I'm not an RN, a typical med center requirement) or insurance coverage (which falls within the scope of what I do, but in a different form).

While "enterprise risk management" indeed describes what I do, I wonder if, given the other associations, people understand "my" version of "enterprise risk management."

Then there is the certification question. I am certified as a business continuity planner - it says so right on my certificate. (I'm also certified as a "senior recovery planner," but that label harks back to InfoTech disaster recovery; while disaster recovery is part of what I do, I am not an InfoTech person.)

Can I, given my certificate, claim to be a "certified" enterprise risk management practitioner? Is there such a certification?

Perhaps I need to find an even more basic job title/descriptor.

It came to be yesterday watching an Untouchables rerun of a rerun of a . . .

I'm in the protection racket - sorry, "business."

In the simplest, yet broadest, terms, "enterprise risk management," by any nom du jour, comes down to helping an organization - commercial, industrial, non-profit, government, even a family - protect itself from the risks it faces.

'Course as soon as I start billing myself as being in the protection business, someone will think I'm talking about guarding their property - which my work helps accomplish - either by putting up signs "This facility protected by John Glenn" or by marching back and forth in front of the place like the palace guard, neither of which is the image I think I want to project.

As I wrote at the beginning of this exercise, I'm having an identity crisis - who am I, really?

A business continuity planner (yes), an enterprise risk management practitioner (yes), or a guy in the protection business (yes).

Oh yes, I've also been called a "business analyst" and a "process re-engineer" as well as a few other things that can't appear on a "G" rated blog.

My 21-year-old daughter reminds me I also am her "daddy." The best title of all.

John Glenn, MBCI, SRP
Enterprise Risk Management/Business Continuity
Planner @ JohnGlennMBCI.com

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