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Volume 27, Issue 4

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August 15, 2014

Hindsight is a wonderful thing

No two disasters are ever the same and business continuity practitioners should never base their plans directly on an individual experience, but case studies still provide an extremely helpful tool when it comes to thinking about what organisational disruptions may occur and how they can be dealt with. That is the purpose of a new book titled ‘In hindsight: a compendium of business continuity case studies’ launched in July at Missenden Abbey in Buckinghamshire, UK, a tribute to the venue where the idea for the book was originally conceived.

In hindsight was edited by Robert Clark MBCI and authored by several people from the field of resilience who all (with one exception) came together when studying at Buckinghamshire New University under the tutelage of Philip Wood AMBCI who provided the preface for the book. In his preface he states "I have found it to be an interesting, thought provoking and stimulating collection of studies and I have learned a great deal from reading it. Learning is key to understanding, and understanding allows us to make the right decisions.”

This compendium of business continuity case studies contains fascinating examples showing the diverse range of issues that organisations could have to deal with. With stories ranging from financial crises (collapse of Barings Bank) to industrial disasters (Piper Alpha), from disease outbreaks (SARS) to natural disasters (UK flooding of 2007), from product recalls (Toyota’s 8 million cars in 2009/10) to crowd management (Dusseldorf Love Parade in 2010), this book is packed with case studies of various incidents demonstrating what happened, how it was dealt with and an additional focus on what went well and what didn’t go well.

In explaining why ‘hindsight' is perhaps the perfect theme for a book, Robert Clark highlighted that “we tend not to look back enough on what has happened in the past in order to learn from it. That's why this book is not just about theory, it is about looking at past incidents and identifying how an effective business continuity management system could have made the situation better.”

Disasters will always happen but if we can learn from each one then we can improve on the outcome the next time something similar happens. To find out more about this book, please click here.

http://www.thebci.org/index.php/about/news-room#/news/hindsight-is-a-wonderful-thing-90286