Walking to the station this morning I came across a young guy standing next to his car which had broken down on a busy road. As I walked towards him I asked if he was ok.
He said yes and then pointed at his flat tyre and sheepishly admitted that he wasn’t sure how to change it for the spare (he had never had a puncture before) I didn’t want to miss my train so asked him if he had called his breakdown company for help and he replied that he hadn’t got round to becoming a member.
Rather than walk off I offered to change the wheel for him (easy for me as I have changed hundreds of wheels on all sorts of cars) While I was doing the job he told me that his Dad showed him how to do this when he first started learning to drive, but he had never had the chance or need to do it for real so wasn’t confident to try (nobody wants to drop a car on their foot!)
As I took my seat on the train the parallels between running a Business Continuity program and the chap in the car became obvious to me. Bear with me on this:
- He had an owners manual in the glove box which includes instructions on how to change the wheel but had probably never read it (Business Continuity Plan)
- He probably could have found the tools to change the wheel in the car somewhere (Business Continuity Team)
- He had once been shown how to change a wheel (Business Continuity Test)
- He had no prior experience of getting a puncture so thought it would never happen to him (thankfully most businesses do not experience regular disasters)
- He didn’t have an expert to call for help in a Crisis situation (no AA or RAC) despite the cost of cover being low (Continuity Partner provide 24/7 crisis management support as well as planning, testing and and threat monitoring)
Ultimately he did not have the confidence to recover himself in a safe or timely manner. He got lucky in the sense that I walked past and helped him otherwise he could have been standing at the roadside for hours.
Would your business be left standing at the roadside for hours or do you have the capability in place to hop out, change the wheel and keep on going?
Fact: In the year to January 2014 the AA attended 340,000 tyre related call outs in the UK