In this series, Facility Executive introduces you to one of the many business continuity professionals scheduled to speak at the 21st Annual Continuity Insights Management Conference, which will take place at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis, April 24-26, 2023.
In these times, when the need for critical information-sharing has never been greater, Continuity Insights offers insight, inspiration, and actionable ideas presented by a faculty of leading business continuity experts and practitioners. This conference provides a timely and important opportunity to share best practices, lessons learned, and effective strategies employed to ensure organizational resilience.
Here, we chat with Dr. Steven B. Goldman, Senior Lecturer with MIT Professional Education.
Facility Executive: Tell us about your background. How did you first get involved with business resiliency?
Dr. Steven B. Goldman: Well, no one majored in Business Resiliency; we all arrived here by various paths. I have two degrees in Nuclear Engineering. (I earned my Doctorate many years later). While working at a nuclear plant, I was transferred to the Corporate Communications Department as Nuclear Spokesperson because unlike most engineers, I could write and speak fluently. (Just joking, fellow engineers!) I loved it. This led to nuclear emergency communications and then nuclear emergency planning. Then I got involved in corporate and facility crisis planning, business continuity, crisis leadership, and crisis communications. Now in addition to consulting on these areas, I teach this at MIT. What a long, strange trip it’s been!
FE: What do you teach at MIT? Business Resiliency?
Dr. Goldman: I organize and do some of the sessions at the on-campus MIT Crisis Management & Business Resiliency Course. We bring in experts from all the disciplines needed to manage a Business Resiliency Program AND to respond to a crisis. We have working News Media Editors lecture on what they are going to do to you in a crisis. Our experts discuss laws/standards/metrics, supply chain, crisis leadership, program leadership, cyber security, communications, and many other relevant topics. We present several case studies of actual response. We end the weeklong course with a Crisis Simulation which includes workplace violence, hazmat release, and a cyber attack. Over the years several facilities managers have attended the course and told me they learned a lot!
FE: What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
Dr. Goldman: “Get your Doctorate!” Three separate people at three separate times in my life advised me to do this. I earned my Doctorate relatively later in life, but I have enjoyed being “Dr. Steve” as a consultant, speaker, and university staff ever since. I know this is not for everyone, but circumstances in my life (plus hard work!) allowed me to pursue and obtain this dream.
“The Yin and the Yang of this —
‘You are in charge of a program
we hope we won’t use’
— requires a strong person with positive attitudes to be successful.”
— Dr. Steven B. Goldman
FE: What does a business resiliency program entail?
Dr. Goldman: In my humble opinion, the biggest thing a business resiliency program entails is attitude. Think about it: You are in charge of a program that everyone in the organization fervently hopes they never need to use!
I always compare a business resiliency program to a fire extinguisher: you must research what you need, purchase the equipment/system, install them, test them periodically, train users, maintain them, keep up with the latest technology and concepts, and do all the requisite paperwork. Your best year is if you never actually have to use them. However – and this is a big however – when you need the fire extinguisher or business resiliency program, it had darn well better work as expected. Employee lives, company property, the business itself are in danger if you are not prepared. The Yin and the Yang of this – “You are in charge of a program we hope we won’t use” — requires a strong person with positive attitudes to be successful.
DR. STEVE’S BREAKOUT SESSION
I Inherited a Business Resiliency Program!
Program Development and Advancement
Tuesday, April 25, 2023, 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
This session discusses what professionals should do when they are assigned the role of Business Resiliency Manager: where to start, what to do, how to lead, how/when to communicate, and how to track success. Topics include acquiring executive support, figuring out what was left to you, resources available, assignment of responsibilities, office politics, needed leadership skills, and action plan development. You will determine where you are, where you need to be, and how to get there. What else should you be doing? What have other companies done?
FE: What would you like your audience to take away from your presentation?
Dr. Goldman: For my session “I Inherited a Business Resiliency Program! Now What?” I want attendees to have the knowledge — and most importantly, the confidence — to manage a program that they inherited or were assigned. This happens a lot to facilities managers – I have consulted to several facilities managers who have the organization Business Resiliency Program as one of their responsibilities. It can be one of the most dynamic departments they manage. Sometimes the role is exciting: developing company response strategy; conducting full-scale exercises; preparing for a Board briefing; attending CI Conferences. And yeah, sometimes the job can get mundane — reviewing procedures, facility inventory, audit prep. But you will also be spending quality time with many senior executives; it is a high visibility position and a great career builder!
Read the full article "You Inherited A Business Resiliency Program! Now What?" on Facility Executive Magazine.