Monday, May 5, 2008

ERM-BC-COOP: Financial planning part of ERM

Richard Arnold, Disaster Recovery Journal's executive publisher (, in his "From the publisher's desk" in the Spring 2008 issue* (, writes about the current economic concerns and notes that DRJ is either holding the line on conference costs or helping keep educational costs affordable with webinars.

He and DRJ are to be applauded for the effort.

This is a positive reaction to the economic woes.

Like waiting until a hurricane has passed by or reviewing the results of a tornado, taking action in light of a failing economy is disaster recovery.

While that is the name of the profession's quality quarterly, it should not be the approach we take to protect our clients.

"Clients" in this instance, is generic - the people or organizations that compensate us for our efforts, regardless if we are engaged as staff or consultants.

We - as enterprise risk management/business continuity practitioners - need to advise our clients how to prepare for, as well as weather, the economic "storm" just as we advise them how to prepare for and weather a hurricane, tornado, or any other risk.

Hopefully, our voice will be heard and our advice heeded. Still, failing to at least present the possibilities would be negligence on our part.

Mr. Arnold, in his Page 10 comments, notes that "planners often are performing the tasks of two, three, or more people." Translation: some experienced practitioners are finding themselves "on the market" and some potentially great planners fail to find a place to develop their skills, preferably under the guidance of a senior who has "been there and done that."

The joke goes that when "you" are out of work, its a recession; when "I" am out of work it's a depression.

There are, if Mr. Arnold's words are correct and I see no reason to disbelieve him, a growing number of planners who view their status as a "depression." Even if you are only in a "recession," the plight of our profession is depressing.

For all that, our plight points up the need for enterprise risk management, holistic business continuity planning. The financial well being of our clients very much relates to our financial well being. Trust me, there is nothing wrong with having selfish inclinations, particularly when those inclinations will benefit many more people than yourself.

We, as practitioners, need to understand, and we need to try to convince our clients, that the organization's financial well being must be considered across all risks; when we limit our concerns to environmental, human, and technological risks, we are failing our clients and, in the end, failing ourselves.

* DRJ requires that users be registered to view the magazine online. Registration is free and highly recommended for anyone practicing, or responsible for, enterprise risk management - business continuity - COOP.

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

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