Friday, February 26, 2010

A funny thing happened . . .

. . . on the road to Accra

I was invited to present Business Continuity 101 to some folks in Ghana.

I'm always willing to talk about what I do - indeed, this morning I got a call from a man who asked me to "explain business continuity." (I did in a few short sentences.)

The organization that invited me also talked to several other practitioners, including a couple of whom I correspond on a regular basis.

I was agreeable to make the trip to Ghana and I prepared some materials for a two-day show-n-tell in the nation's capital.

In return, I received a letter to attach to my visa request, along with a US$50 money order. I also started looking for someplace that could provide a yellow fever shot, a requirement to enter Ghana.

Everything was fine until I told my potential hosts that I expected them to pre-pay my airfare and local lodging.

Suddenly, I heard no more from Ghana.

I'm new to the rubber chicken circuit, but I wasn't born yesterday. I don't know how experienced speakers handle such things, but I wasn't about to be told after the fact that "the check's in the mail." It's hard enough to collect monies due in the US from US companies - I'm still waiting for my last paycheck and vacation pay from my previous employer - which becomes harder and harder to contact (no, I am not surprised; I was, after all, a budget cut, but this is not what I expected from the least of the Top Five defense contractors in the US).

I confess to being a little disappointed in both the Ghana organization and my former employer.

The Ghana connection because it lacked the foresight to due its budget homework . My fee certainly was reasonable and considered the transportation costs.

When I twice asked that the hosting organization buy the plane tickets and provide me with a contract, the answer was the same - no response at all.

I'm sharing this with The World not because I am upset with the Ghana organization (although I am more than a little upset with my former employer) but so that anyone who finds himself, or herself, invited to a distant venue will be aware that there are "things" to consider, including how much money the invitee is willing to risk.

At least I was spared the needle (yellow fever inoculation) and visa fee. I would feel a lot better to the folks in Ghana had someone sent an email telling me "A budget review forces us to cancel the invitation."

A pity, because I really DO like to talk about enterprise risk management and business continuity. Any time. Any place. To anyone.

John Glenn, MBCI
Enterprise Risk Management/Business Continuity practitioner
Hollywood/Fort Lauderdale Florida

Looking for work in, or from, southeast Florida

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