Herd Continuity is a new theory I have been working on which I would like to share with you.
The theory states that by achieving a step change improvement in Resilience and Readiness levels across a ‘critical mass’ of organizations a significant improvement in Resilience resulting in a lower level of business interruption, business failures and insurance losses across the whole ‘Herd’ (even those who have not planned or engaged with Business Continuity prior to the event) will be achieved.
Herd Continuity as a concept is borne out of the widely accepted Herd Immunity theory relating to disease transmission, whereby mass immunization of the herd extends protection to members of the herd that have not yet been immunized.
Herd Continuity should be and will become (in my opinion) a driving force for Insurers, Governments and other advisors to promote and champion ‘Mass Market’ business continuity activity. Business Continuity industry professionals have long debated the lack of traction and lack of Business Continuity budget in the SMB space, this will not change short term as these organizations either believe themselves to be Invincibles, Too Small for Business Continuity or Too Busy for Business Continuity (many will claim to be all three) Let’s face it, to start and grow a small business you are much more likely to believe the glass is half full rather than half empty so why spend lots of valuable time planning for the unlikely? Plus ‘if it all goes really bad then we have insurance’ is a response I have heard a thousand times, which kind of misses the point.
3 Step Plan to Herd Continuity
- Mass Immunization – design and distribute ‘Mass Market’ Business Continuity tools and services that deliver real business benefit at low/no cost to the end users – and do it Fast
- Education – regularly communicate with the new wave of ‘Mass Market’ Business Continuity adopters to keep them engaged and most importantly take steps to incrementally improve their state of Readiness and Resilience (self help, educational tools, templates, consulting etc)
- Incentivize – offer financial and reputational incentives to businesses for achieving high Resilience and Readiness levels (ie. Benchmarkable Readiness Score, Insurance Discount, Best Practise Case Studies etc)
Achieving Herd Continuity will not be easy
Achieving Herd Continuity is a big challenge that will take Governments, Insurers, Business Continuity Industry, Trade Organizations, Advisors and many others pulling together in the same direction to achieve.
We also have to accept that most organizations will continue to adopt the ‘squeaky wheel gets the oil’ approach to continuity, so put simply we need to offer them a better tuned ear to hear the squeak when it first starts (or even before it starts), a better grade of oil that is easy to afford and a super efficient oil can with which to apply it.
Once we move beyond that point we can start to look at activities that prevent the squeak from starting, plan ahead for unexpected squeaks and perhaps even create some scenarios and tests for dealing with unexpected squeaks from different areas of the wheel.