You’re just finishing off your evening meal, swirling the remains of wine in your glass and reflecting on today.
“It was a good meeting, we got a lot done; this will be a good year” and then the phone rings…
I don’t know if that’s exactly how it happened to Micky Arison, Chairman and Chief Executive of Carnival, but I’m sure the news was greeted with the same feeling in his stomach that we all would have felt.
Heaven forbid anything so disastrous should happen to your business, but what if?
What would your first actions be?
We talk about strategy, financial management and the nuances of the sales and marketing plan but have we covered off disaster or mitigation thereof?
It doesn’t have to be of the magnitude of the Costa Concordia, perhaps a trade debtor gone into receivership. Last year Focus DIY’s demise caused some huge financial losses across the transport sector not to mention actual product suppliers; how many businesses can withstand those losses?
An employee injuring himself at work could potentially expose the Directors to a jail sentence due to an overlooked health and safety issue that was dormant for years; the list of threats goes on.
I’m not a harbinger of doom and my heart and prayers goes out to those whose lives were lost but we must take heed and learn. We as Directors have a duty of care not just to our employees but also our shareholders (read balance sheet)
Our businesses may have become more sophisticated, technology dependent but our plans don’t have to be. In 1957 Jaguar Cars Ltd suffered a huge fire at their Brown Lanes factory, a fortnight later and the first Jaguar Mk1 rolled back off the production line – not a computer backup in sight, nor even thought about.
I repeat the question – what would your first actions be and where is your disaster plan?