Writer Robin Gaddum recently shared Murphy’s Three Laws of Business Continuity. The First Law is generally well known and accepted: “If it can go wrong, it will go wrong.”
This reminds us of the importance of risk assessment and the value of investment in risk prevention.
Murphy’s Second Law is less well-known, but is widely appreciated based upon individual experience: “If it cannot possibly go wrong, it will still go wrong!”
However hard we try and however much we invest in risk prevention we never completely identify and eliminate all risks. Law No. 2 reminds us of the need for a business continuity plan, a last-ditch deference to enable recovery in the aftermath of the most improbable and unforeseen event.
Murphy’s Third Law is a cold reminder of the fact that “Bad Stuff Happens” and we will have to deal with the impact: “In real life, puppies die… Get over it.”
When disasters occur, in spite of all of our planning and preparation there is always an impact, Gaddum notes. If we didn’t feel an impact, then it wouldn’t be a disaster!
As longtime experts in disaster response, we have weathered some catastrophic events over the years and have provided support and guidance to our clients who experience such events. While we repeatedly drill and rehearse how to respond to these disasters, unexpected circumstances can arise that no one could have predicted.
To somebody new to the industry or process, this can be overwhelming and downright scary. But seasoned professionals recognize that there are no sure-fire recipes for success: every crisis is different. While it may seem like wasted time to prepare for a disaster, it’s more important than ever. Through repeatedly practicing our response when a crisis occurs, we build “muscle memory” to help shape our reactions to better respond to unexpected situations. Further, no matter how good a response is or how well prepared an organization, the fact is that bad things happen in a disaster; there will be casualties or fatalities that could not have been prevented—no matter how hard we try.
However, having a plan in place helps an organization and its employees become more resilient, which will ultimately make the investment of money and time well spent.