However change is inevitable but sometimes it can lead to serious losses if a firm fails to adapt to it well enough. Change management is one major factor that decides the future of an organization in contemporary times. Also this is one of the core responsibilities of the management -to ensure business continuity even when the firm is experiencing some unfavorable circumstances. There are many ways and strategies that can be employed to reduce the levels of risk a company is exposed to, if not completely eliminate them. This article will focus on those specific ways that will ensure that a firm “stays calm and carries on” during external threats and severe competition.
For those who do not have a clear idea about this phenomenon can understand by this simple explanation; Business stability directly relates to a firm’s resilience. It does not only mean that you shield yourself from external disasters but also refers to the ability to quickly recover from damages and begin with operations more effectively than before. Organizations that have not devised any strategies before-hand fail to understand the complex situations and are soon driven out of the market. Analysis of the success stories of business tycoons provides some common strategies and practices that largely reduce the levels of risks a firm is exposed to and ensures a steady in all thick and thins. Let us now discuss each in detail.
1. Measure the risks: At times firms that are very good at risk management also fail to successfully swim through hard times just because they were unable to measure the levels of risk appropriately. There are many methods available that accurately identify the size and impact of threats that will affect a firm adversely. Take for example competitive risks; these directly put a firm’s survival in market at stake. The measurement of risk in this case would involve identifying the size of competitor, its market share and competitive strengths. In order to ensure healthy growth in business it will be essential to devise plans accordingly and execute those using strict time frames.
2. Prioritize: It is very important to understand the senior management’s priorities before executing recovery plans. Priorities differ in every organization, for example there are mangers who feel staff costs are most important while there are others who lay stress on productivity gains. Hence in order to make an effective use of technology that directly links to these priorities, supporting systems must be known. Recovering from damages is not easy but things that are well sorted will make management a lot easier on the whole.
3. Recovery plans: There are many organizations that have great plans for change management but do not have a disaster recovery plan at all! It sounds bizarre but it is true. Hence it is equally important to devise a recovery strategy. The best way is to develop a formal document that details all applications, facilities, personnel, priorities (as discussed above) and hardware. This plan shall outline all the functional areas that provide guidance on what happens before, during and after the debacle. The limitations shall be made clear before-hand only. The core purpose of lies within serving the customers efficiently, if that motive is not fulfilled the repercussions are devastating. That is what a recovery plan will largely focus on.
4. Human resource management: An organization is not only made up of goals, strategies and revenues but mostly it is a collection of different human brains that excel in different regimes. As part of the business continuity planning process, it will be important to identify the number of staff members and skills that will be required to perform and maintain key functions. A list of special tasks shall also be prepared earlier and be used in case of emergency. This will identify which employees are most effective and appropriate for crisis management, employee support, Security and IT backup etc.
5. Revise, test and update regularly: Some organizations make recovery plans and think the task is finished. Some have just struggled form a crisis and now think bad times are over forever. Some are enjoying roaring success and believe hard luck will never knock the door again. Well, this is not only the rule of business but a rule of life – nothing stays stagnant. Hence if you made a plan 5 years back, how can you expect it to work in current times? If you just got free from a big bad crisis, how do you know that the next will not hit you soon? If you are currently holding the largest market share, how do you know your direct competitor cannot take you over? Hence the best way to deal with all these issues involves regular updating, testing and revision of the recovery plans. Staying updated will not only save a firm form unnecessary overheads but will ensure steady position even in the hardest of times.
So, Business Continuity is not any exceptional phenomenon, it is just another shaft of strategic management that involves playing smart and accepting the challenges a market throws at a firm. The rule is indeed simple; the one who adapts well to change wins the race!