DRJ Fall World 2013

Last week, Fusion Risk Management traveled to San Diego for DRJ Fall World.


Thank you to all of you who wore our buttons!

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Congratulations to everyone who won our giveaway prizes!

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And a special thank you to those of you who joined us for dinner.


Of course, we also want to thank DRJ for another great conference.

See you at the next one!


The Fusion Newsletter


Wednesday, August 28, 2013 — 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT

Everyone knows that “cultural buy-in” is critically important to the success of our BCM programs – it drives engagement in activities, proper funding and attention from your leadership, and yes, job security for you.  So why do so many of us struggle to achieve the support needed for success?

In this DRJ Webinar, David Nolan, CEO of Fusion Risk Management, shares insights gained from involvement with hundreds of successful Business Continuity Management programs, and observations on dozens of less than successful programs.

“The differences between the two are clear — nearly every struggling program lacked engagement of key decision makers and contributions from critical participants, and all failed to achieve ‘cultural buy-in’ across the organization!”

As a recognized industry leader who works with enterprise BCM professionals every day, David challenges you to “get serious” and address this critical issue head on.  Join us for this important DRJ Webinar to gain the insights, strategies and techniques that will help you break through to your next level of success.


Join us in San Diego

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Join Fusion Risk Management at DRJ Fall World in San Diego this September!

The Fusion team will demonstrate the award-winning Fusion Framework® Risk Management & Contingency Planning System™.

Come prepared to share your most difficult BCM program challenges and learn how you can employ the Fusion Framework System to drive your program success.

Already a fan of Fusion Risk Management?  Let us know if you are attending — we are planning an exclusive event that you’ll really enjoy. Click here to let us know!

BCM Innovators Group on LinkedIn

Don’t miss the most exciting conversations on LinkedIn! The BCM Innovators group is where top industry professionals are asking questions and discussing topics most relevant to their BCM programs. Request to join HERE.

What is the BCM Innovators Group all about?

(…and how is it different from all of the other BCM groups on LinkedIn?)

The BCM Innovators Group

Mission – BCM Innovators are focused on driving innovation through sharing creative ideas, debating, collaborating, and evolving to form real solutions to improve the effectiveness, efficiency, and economic value of our BCM programs.

Who We Are

Collaborative  – We are interested in gathering the best practitioners in the industry to collaborate and elevate our profession in the eyes of businesses and organizational leaders.
Respectful – We are trustworthy, fair, and responsible. It is important that this group respects and cares for others- we want to see everyone succeed!
Passionate – We are intense, curious, and excited about helping organizations become resilient, prepared, and risk-oriented.
Creative – Our focus on innovation and achieving higher levels of success increases our willingness to take on new approaches and ideas, and we do not settle for the status quo.

What Happens Here

Sharing – Discuss trending topics with thought leaders who understand the problems and the potential that various solutions might bring.
Debating – Post a hypothesis about the application of a technology in a certain situation and debate the merits and value amongst the group.
Innovating – Suggest “out of the box” ideas and get feedback that could help evolve and mature those ideas.
Learning – Most of all, we want all members to learn from their experience in a way that drives innovation in the form of methods and technologies.

What Doesn’t Happen Here


This is the benchmark on which the conversations will be monitored and managed.  If you think that you are a good fit for this group, we would love to have you. Request to join HERE.

22301: The Tipping Point for BC Standards

Fusion partnered with Continuity Insights to deliver a webinar on ISO 22301 in 2013. You can access it here.

While promoting the webinar, someone who knows me well asked, “Are you really going to jump on this bandwagon?” I realized it might serve everyone’s best interest to get a little perspective from me prior to the webinar.

It is true that I have not been a big proponent of Standards and Certifications generally over the years. The reason is simply that the most competent people and capable organizations that I know don’t focus on either. These are practitioners whose prime focus has been on business results and their organizations have top-down leadership and direction that sets the tone and defines the expectations for Business Continuity. But a lot has changed in the last few years and it was time for me to take a fresh look at standards and certifications.

Standards are not best practices and never will be, by definition. They define things generally and broadly – what I call “directionally accurate”. So, while being ISO22301 certified is commendable, it does not mean that an organization has applied the principles of Business Continuity entirely and appropriately for their business needs. Certification does not mean Mission Accomplished. It is a base, but it is not the end game.

The reasons that drive me to support compliance are mostly based on the strategic value that can be associated with the ability an organization has to make concise representations to it’s customers and stakeholders, and to demand the same from its suppliers. It makes no sense for thousands of organizations to come up with their own set of questions for their suppliers. It makes no sense for a practitioner to have to respond to hundreds of questions from each of hundreds of customers. There is a place for standards to streamline the qualification trading partners in the supply chain. The value isn’t because it makes your organization bullet proof. The value comes in the efficiencies and economies that an organization can achieve from being a responsible part of a supply chain. Standards enable remarkably efficient communication of complex topics. That a data center is Tier 3 and SSAE16 compliant speaks volumes about that facility and its operation. “UL Compliant” means something important and conveys responsibility and trust. Batteries, plugs, even labeling formats on food products are all grounded in standards that facilitate clear and truthful communication.

So why 22301 and why now? ISO is International. It focuses on Continuity Risk Management, and not just planning. It is not British and it is not American. ISO22301 is a converged standard that is part of larger, generally accepted family of standards from ISO.  My focus has always been on value. And the webinar will expand on these thoughts as it relates to ISO 22301 and the value it can bring to your organization.

As practitioners charged with protecting the interests of an enterprise, we need to determine if embracing ISO22301 enables us to address a broader array of risks, and deliver value to the business in the process. We have reached a Tipping Point as our programs evolve to include key suppliers and service providers. There is a case for standards in a world of increasing threats and complexity driven by inexorable links between trading partners up and down the line. The concept of a Risk Conscious Culture is extending to our customers and our suppliers. Trust is at the core. And it behooves all participants to play well with others. Consider this the age of the Golden Rule… do unto others as you would have them do unto you…and standards are the only way to manage enterprise and supply chain continuity risk effectively and efficiently.

To hear more, you can download the Continuity Insights Webinar here.

Does Social Media apply to Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery?

Last week, all of our thoughts were consumed with Boston.  Everywhere you looked, there was never ending information streaming towards us – on TV, in newspapers, and especially on social media.  Social media, being relatively new, is sometimes greeted with skepticism.  Everyone is talking about it, but how does it actually apply to business continuity and disaster recovery? Well, take a look what David Nolan said about these social technologies in the fall of 2012.  Since then we have already seen how social media can affect command and control, crisis management, and how we communicate.  These effects can be both good and bad, helpful and disruptive.  Regardless, it is something that we need to acknowledge.


To discuss this further, feel free to Contact Fusion. You can also follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

“Can’t get no…Satisfaction…”

Optimists, pessimists. Happy, sad. Net promoters, net detractors.

No matter who you are or what you do, it is human nature to want to see the good, to be happy, to share what you like with others. Look no further than the “Like” buttons on this page and virtually every web page you see for evidence of the importance satisfaction plays in our business and personal lives.

So we set out to see just how happy BC Managers are with their programs and the tools they use to manage. What we found was a strikingly clear delineation into four primary categories. The categories we came up with included:

Satisfied and fulfilled – people who felt that their programs were headed in the right direction and the tools they use enabled them to succeed and in many cases expanded their visions and contributions.

Building/Rebuilding – people who are starting or starting over for whatever reason and are looking for new and innovative ways to accomplish their goals.

Out of gas – people whose programs have hit a wall, and who also feel that their tools and methods are not enabling them and in many cases may actually be holding them back.

Fed up – people whose programs are constrained by legacy tools that simply cannot address the needs of the organization in terms of functionality and ease of use.

Before we get into a protracted debate about whether I have put the right labels on the categories or used exactly the right words, please hang on long enough to get to the real point of this post.

It was not so much the clear delineation of these four camps that got our attention but the small minority in the Satisfied and Fulfilled group! Why aren’t people happier? If they are so unhappy, why don’t they embrace change more readily? Could it be that BC Managers are so consumed with getting through the day to notice that others around them are getting more done with less by embracing new methods and technologies?

The answers we got were diverse, but most boiled down to making the business case. How could spending money on automated systems possibly make sense when my company is cutting every corner possible?

The answer requires re-orientation. The question needs to be reversed. How could it make sense to deploy resources and capital and not complement that investment with tools that improve the effectiveness and efficiency of those investments? The business case is based on driving leverage and value from all of the other investments an organization needs to make to reduce continuity risk. It always strikes me when an organization effortlessly absorbs incremental headcount and cuts POs for technology, ostensibly to reduce risk, and cannot see the value of investing in tools that could deliver more for much less. But I digress.

The crux of the issue is Satisfaction! One is satisfied when one’s expectations are exceeded, not merely met, and certainly not when they are not. But satisfaction is a two-way street. It requires someone willing to make an investment, embrace change, and/or take a leap of faith. In exchange it requires someone willing to do whatever it takes to please. Doing whatever it takes means innovation.

And the punch line is that no one is happy when innovation is out of their reach; when their programs and their tools fall behind. So it is incumbent on program managers to demand and embrace change and service providers to innovate, solve and deliver. Innovation drives satisfaction.

To discuss this or related topics please contact us.  We would be happy to set up a demo and help you get to the Satisfied and Fulfilled category. You can also connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.


Standards play an important role in the way our world works. Standards define how light bulbs will fit into sockets as a practical matter. But standards can also be valuable when applied to business processes and best practices. For example, the Uptime Institute Standard created a fast path for understanding the way a data center is built; and SAS70 provided context and content to more quickly determine how well run that data center might be.

But in the DR/BCP world we can’t seem to even agree on basic terminology much less a universal standard…until now? ISO 22301 couple with ISO 27001 provide the first hope that a true standard will emerge that will allow firms to quickly assess their trading partners making it easier to assess and easier to comply. Instead of chasing myriad, poorly defined objectives, these standards provide the foundation for business to business conversation between trading partners. How will Standards evolve? Who knows for sure. But what we do know is that solid standards reduce complexity and miscommunication and provide a clear, concise and reusable form for managing your DR/BC program. While we may individually have our own opinions about some elements of a given standard, we should all be motivated to contribute toward a future state where our compliance with a standard is stamp of approval that says “we have taken DR/BC seriously and have achieved measurable results!”

To discuss this or any other related topics further, feel free to contact us. You can also connect with us on LinkedIn!