Originally this post ran in February when Greece was in turmoil. At the time some scoffed at needing to think in this manner. Others gave me the obligatory “Yeah, makes sense.” Then went right on to other subjects as if it was unimportant. With protests now on Wall Street and taking place across the country while seemingly growing. (and yes it’s even taking place in my own city in KY!) I would hope some actually heeded my call for action. Waiting too long can leave not only yourself with no options, but also customers, and employees. I’m used to being ahead of the curve so slings and arrows come with that territory. But once facts prove my prescient warnings, you need to act before verbal slings and arrows turn into more literal sticks, and stones.
Below is the original post:
This is not about whose right, wrong, or anything else of that nature. This is about your business. Doesn’t matter what you do, whether you’re a CEO of a large global corporation, or an employee with an entrepreneurial mind-set. Either way you have to look at these events in a very different manner than most. No, not to capitalize on them, but how to avoid possible financial ruin or other disruptions because of them.
As we’ve seen over the last few weeks things can change at any time, and for many reasons that seemed near improbable. The problem for many in business, is they can find themselves smack dab in the middle of protests, fighting, looting, and a host of other things that one never dreams of happening, till it does!
Many coveted retail or office locations are right in the heart of any city and that’s usually where any gathering or protests will be. What happens to your business, your employees, your retail stores, your customers if for no reason than just being at the center causes damage to your infrastructure, or people?
We are seeing today like at no other time in history technology has enabled connectivity en mass. If you’ve been following the news as of late, you can’t help but be awed in the speed and power of such demonstrations. But I need you to change your thought process and water cooler subject from, “Have you seen the news?” to “Do we have a contingency plan for our business if disrupted?” Trust me, I’m not trying to be callous. The reason for the events are for others to discuss, I want you to be pragmatic in how you can protect either your people or business. If a protest broke out in front of one of your locations would you or could you shutter it down? Who would be in charge of such an undertaking? Would you be reliant on the cleaning crew to make sure the doors were locked? Would you send senior staff, or a combination there of? I hope you’re getting my point. If you have, or are in business, you can no longer leave such a discussion as, “I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.” because what is being demonstrated is there may be No bridge!
As professionals one must always hope for the best, but plan for the worst. That’s not to say you create some committee derived, bullet pointed, and bound code book that must be signed off by top staff and the cook who carries the secret decoder ring. What is far more important is that you have an honest roundtable discussion with either yourself, or some pertinent staff members that can theorize some sort of outline. It needn’t be perfect because situations such as these are always fluid, but it’s far easier to direct the water if you have an understanding where the banks might be.
If technology can demonstrate how fast it can bring about disruptive change, than the same must be viewed on how you can use technology to step aside of that disruption and try your best to protect your people, or your property.
Not only might you be thankful for being ahead of the crowd, but so might everyone else that depends on your products, or services. And that’s smart business.
© 2011 Mark St.Cyr All Rights Reserved