The idea of being surrounded by a real live tornado shifted some thinking for me and I want to share how and why. Let me give you some details first.
First of all, spending time in Kansas with our client and their management team is one of my favorite things to do. There are 4 senior managers who are moving from the “working manager” mindset to “leading” their organization with key business development strategies, organization wide communication changes and learning to evaluate their positions for effectiveness and producing successful and sustainable results. Kudos to them.
I love working with senior managers and executives who are on track to really discovering their talents and then using them to highlight what is possible when talented people apply their smarts to their business, people and their lives. Confidently influential people are a sight to behold.
Back to the potential threat with the tornado. It was important to me to find out what the precautions and plans were of the hotel where I was staying. Would they evacuate the guests? Where would we go? How much time should we take once we were alerted, to enter the shelter? Should we take anything with us? What would the signal be that would let us know that it was time to take shelter?
My staff asked me if I was frightened of the tornado? I said yes, but I was not asking the questions because I was scared. I was asking all the questions because I wanted a plan that I could understand and follow. I also thought that I wanted to be part of the solution rather than some screaming scardy cat running in circles because I did not understand that plans were in place to protect me from such a potentially traumatic situation like a real live destruction-inducing tornado.
Fortunately the tornado did not touch down. We avoided destruction and having to use the shelter and protection of a great plan.
However, it got me to thinking about my own plans for my business and life. How prepared am I to take action in case just the very worse happened to me and the business? I came up with some questions that I think are good preparatory questions for putting together a plan for success “just in case”. I hope they are helpful for you. They have provoked me to think through my strategy for how I conduct my business processes.
oHow is my backup for the information?
oHow often does it get backed up?
oWhere is it backed up and how do I get access to it when there is a failure?
oHow do I handle a failure if I don’t have the latest backup? The comment since we got involved in this fast moving technology is not “if” something will fail, but “when”.
oWhat kind of storage am I using for the particular and important information that I need for a difficult situation?
oWhere am I keeping it and how easily do I have access to it?
oWho else needs access to it?
oHave I continued to keep my firewalls and security tight so my client information and business information is as protected as it can be?
oAm I using the best technology I need in order to operate well, effectively and efficiently?
oHow portable as my daily paper records and how would I replicate them if they were lost?
oWhat does my insurance coverage look like and is it enough to replace/support my being able to do business easily?
oWhat are my storage habits?
oDo I need to relook at how I am handling my information?
It takes time to be safe, effective, efficient and profitable. We are taking a deep look at our entire business now because of the nose to nose brush with a potentially destructive situation.
I hope these questions are helpful to you. They have been for us. I think a periodic safety review is a good humbling practice.
I wish you safety in all ways.