Any business that truly wants to be successful must think long and hard on the topic of business continuity. This topic of strategic business continuity is not just some random thing but a tremendously powerful concept that one must incorporate into every aspect of your business, especially nonprofits.
Some areas that need business continuity built in may include technology, communications, resources, revenue, and most importantly, personnel. Personnel or human capital as I like to call it is one of the major driving forces behind a successful business operation especially as it relates to tax-exempts and nonprofits. Unfortunately human capital business continuity is one of the primary areas of neglect in the nonprofit arena.
What Happens When Key Staff is Lost
When we define the concept of being abducted by a pterodactyl it simply means that some key member of staff has been temporarily or permanently incapacitated in some way. The absence or incapacitation could be due to illness, sudden death, a death in the family, resignation, termination, job abandonment, or something else that was simply unforeseen.
As you read this article keep in mind that all of the scenarios mentioned and those excluded all roll up into the definition of Pterodactyl abduction.
No matter what the reason for key staff being lost at a given moment, it can have a tremendously detrimental effect on the organization’s business operations. The abduction creates a gap in leadership, experience, and key information needed to complete various tasks or the overall operational mission. Any functioning action unit of an organization can seriously suffer due to this gap and therefore strategic business continuity must be incorporated as a preemptive strike.
Incorporating Strategic Business Continuity
When structuring any staffing teams, the key leaders, co leaders or assistants should never be made up of a husband and wife team whether it is paid staff and/or volunteer staff. If a there is a death in the family or other emergency or a Pterodactyl does ever abduct one of them they will both be taken out of commission and the business will suffer.
An appropriate organizational structure should always be established right from inception consisting of non-related persons thereby embracing the tenants of business continuity. To further elaborate on the matter, someone should always be in place who knows what the key leader knows. If something should happen to your key person, the other leader is in place to fill their shoes with efficiency
If the understudy role becomes a permanent situation, then another second in command is chosen to begin their process of being prepared for leadership. The second man will always be trained and groomed to move up and lead processes. Intentional cross training is a must for strategic business continuity. This environment will also set the stage for good moral as persons on the team see room for advancement.
Three Additional Continuity Components for Business Success
1. Be sure to establish a manual for Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)
- Information should never reside only in someone’s head. Procedures should not just exist in our mental storage cabinets but be written down, consistently recorded and protected in a central designated location. From time to time procedures may have to be tweaked, but a manual maintains the integrity of policy and procedures. A well-organized SOP also makes an excellent training tool when needed in the future.
2. Be sure to establish an organizational document retention policy and sharing protocol
- More than one person should know where key information is and be able to access it in an expeditious manner.
- Do not allow staff, volunteers, and/or interns to save electronic documents in just any format and in just any location. When persons are abducted, you may have no idea where to retrieve important information from. A centralized location is needed to ensure accessibility.
- Even the way you name documents should be a uniformed practice and established as an organizational unified naming convention. Date naming first is advisable so that documents line up in order.
3. Be sure to set up a phone tree or communication procedure that is periodically tested throughout the year
- A communication procedure is extremely important since we never know when contacting key leaders and team members will be necessary in case of emergencies.
As you clearly can see there is a great need for strategic business continuity within your nonprofit organization unless you just simply don’t care about sustainability. If you are truly suicidal then you would not put any preventive measure in place. Most persons make the mistake of preparing for what they think will happen during normal business operations.
The truth of the matter is that this is a very myopic approach to good business planning. Even in goodness nonprofits have to make the distinction between if you will simply be a good organization or rise to become a great organization. Strategic Business Continuity preparation is a key success factor to being great and I advise you the reader to immediately incorporate it into your tax- exempt business practices today. Strategic Business Continuity will help to equip your nonprofit for business excellence.
Clifton C. Jones is an experienced proven professional in the Nonprofit industry and an expert in equipping nonprofits for business excellence. Clifton invites you to visit one his information packed Providence Consulting websites to gain more insights about this article and related topics: T