Focus72 is a different approach

Business continuity and resiliency planning is more critical than ever. Every company is under the microscope. The universe of things that can “happen” has changed. Every company has to be prepared for bad things — its “black swans.” Focus72 employs the proven elements of traditional crisis response and business continuity planning but reorders the process to deliver results more quickly and cost-effectively.

by Matt Branigan


A fundamental and ongoing responsibility of leaders, managers, and executives is to plan for, and deal with, the unexpected. This includes the kinds of scenarios that, even if unlikely, could have a severe impact upon sustained business operations and enterprise survivability. Recent natural disasters, cyber-attacks, corporate and employee integrity issues, and high-profile, active-shooter events are driving home the critical need for preparing for a major crisis to both the government and businesses.

So, why are so many businesses and organizations unprepared for the unexpected? One reason: it’s human nature to avoid deep contemplation of worst-case scenarios. Most of us would likely define ourselves as optimists or realists — and probably not say we’re dyed-in-the-wool pessimists. No one likes to think about bad things happening to them.

One might say that the team here at Watermark is a bunch of proud pessimists. We’ve collectively spent decades figuring out what terrible things might happen, and then defining and implementing plans to ensure continuity of operations. Through our work helping top management at government agencies, financial services companies, IT service providers, and others who are responsible for sensitive installations, we’ve come to appreciate why so many businesses and government agencies are not prepared for their worst nightmares.

In our experience, it’s not that leadership is overly optimistic or buries its head in the sand; it boils down to a concern that continuity planning will be an expensive check-box. Why is that? I think there are two reasons:

  1. Traditional business continuity planning has developed a reputation for taking too long to execute, consuming too many internal resources to arrive at a final plan, and costing a lot of money along the way.
  2. Once completed, the plan is considered fragile, and cannot survive changes in the organization or its operations without a major rewrite.

Leadership therefore elects to accept the risk that “it won’t happen here — or at least not on my watch.” Certainly, management feels uncomfortable accepting this situation, but the difficulty and costs of undertaking a gigantic planning project outweigh the unknown consequences and hard-to-define benefits. So, when disaster strikes, the lack of planning or incomplete planning means the immediate consequences are worse, and the recovery tends to be even longer, more costly and disruptive than anticipated.

black swans are blind spots in risk assessment
We think it’s time for a new approach to resiliency planning
Consider these “what if?” questions for a moment:

  • What if there was a business continuity and continuity of operations planning approach that wasn’t expensive to develop in terms of time or money?
  • What if that approach leveraged resources you already possess to reduce costs and accelerate planning?
  • What if the approach was tailored to your organization, and was easy to maintain and flexible?
  • What if the approach improved your response and resiliency from the very first day?

That approach is available today: it’s called Focus72. It distills six decades of military best-practices in planning and training to survive and continue operations under true worst-case scenarios. Focus72 provides an affordable and easily implemented and lasting approach for executives who need to prioritize their people and clients and want to be better prepared for the unknown or unthinkable.

As its name implies, Focus72 considers what needs to be done in the critical 72 hours after a major crisis has occurred. It therefore moves key executive decisions up front in the process to expedite deployment and reduce costs. It emphasizes executive and middle management training to lower the fragility of the planning to organizational or operational changes. Focus72 focuses on those executives who will make crucial decisions after a crisis, and trains them to consider actions that will reduce the post-crisis recovery time and costs.

As a training-based solution that targets the executive leadership and key decision makers, Focus72 provides a higher value than traditional crisis preparation programs. It goes beyond focusing on the fairly common operational disruptions that businesses deal with on a regular basis; it considers the events and risks that could massively disrupt the business or organization for weeks or months at a time.

The payoff from Focus72 is a crisis-focused review of current operating procedures that results in immediately increased preparedness, a deeper understanding of your operating environment, and an organization better able to respond to, survive, and recover from any crisis event.

To learn more, watch this video — and please contact us for a free evaluation of how Focus72 can help your organization develop an effective resiliency plan.

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