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Feb 20
2014

Ski boots and celery

Posted by: Andy Osborne in DRJ Blogs

Andy Osborne

By Andy Osborne, Acumen.  
Originally posted on Oz's Business Continuity Blog.

I love skiing. It’s right up there on my list of top ten favourite things (I’ll keep the other nine and their relative positions to myself for now, on the grounds that divulging them may incriminate me).

What I don’t like, though, are ski boots. As far as I’m concerned, they’re the devil’s footwear – the most hideously uncomfortable things I've ever had the misfortune to put my feet into. Admittedly this isn't helped by the fact that I have something strange going on with the arteries in my feet, which results in numbness of my tootsies almost as soon as I put the wretched things on, but the fact remains that whoever invented ski boots deserves to have terrible things done to them in return for the discomfort they've inflicted on countless skiers over the years. Unfortunately, however, ski boots are a necessary evil if you want to go skiing, as one’s skis would fall off without them.

The other thing in life that I really can’t stand is celery, which, quite clearly, is the devil’s food. Whilst I suspect that one or two people (my wife, my kids and most of my friends and relatives for instance) might see things slightly differently, I consider myself to be a reasonably tolerant sort of chap. There aren't many things in life that I utterly detest but, at the risk of offending celery farmers as well as ski boot designers, I’m afraid the devil’s food comes a close second after the devil’s footwear in my book.

I don’t get avocados, decaffeinated coffee or alcohol-free lager and I’m not keen on smoked food, although I understand that some people actually like these things. And snowboarders annoy me intensely – actually the decent ones are ok, it’s the rubbish ones who scrape all the good snow off the slope or sit chatting in the middle of the piste, usually just the other side of a ridge where you can’t see them ‘til you’re almost on top of them (oh, and the ones who say “dude” and “awesome” every third word) – but I have no time for ski boots or celery.

Hmm, I’m conscious of the fact that, having started down this path, it’s turned into a bit of a rant (which will please my friend Ian, who thinks I should rant more in my blogs, although I’m not so sure – you might let me know what you think) and that I ought to at least attempt a tenuous link to something business continuity-related. So here goes…

The point is that we’re all different, with different likes and dislikes, different strengths and weaknesses, different experiences and abilities. So if we generalize and just assume things about people – for instance that all our staff will be willing and able to relocate at the drop of a hat; or that they’ll put their employer before their families; or that just because the business continuity plan’s on the intranet people will have read and understood it; or because someone’s a senior manager they’ll automatically be able to manage in a crisis (I could go on, but I’m sure you get the gist) – we might just be setting ourselves up for a fall.

So, rather than just assuming, perhaps it would be a good idea to check – to revisit and challenge and validate, or modify, those assumptions that we sometimes have to make when we first create our plans.

If you’re a connoisseur of celery (or avocados, decaffeinated coffee, alcohol-free lager or smoked food for that matter) then I apologize profusely for any offence I may have caused. And I do hope I haven’t offended too many snowboarders either (although I’m not so fussed about offending any ski boot manufacturers who are reading). I’m sure that most snowboarders are very nice people really and have lots of friends who don’t mind being called “dude”. In fact I was actually quite pleasant to one on a chair lift on Christmas day – not only did I resist the urge to push him off but I wished him a merry Christmas and gave him a piece of chocolate – mainly because Mrs Oz told me to, admittedly, but it’s a start. Don’t expect me to make a habit of it though, or to change my mind about ski boots or celery any time soon.