Speaker Spotlight - James Linney and Bob Etris

DRJ Fall 2018 Speaker Deep Dive – James Linney

“Win the ‘Buy-in Battle’ with High Stakes Stakeholder Management
James Linney, director of operational readiness | Federal Aviation Administration
Bob Etris, partner and senior director | Federal Aviation Administration

DRJ Fall 2018 | Monday, Sept. 24, Breakout Track 2, Session 3 | 2:45-3:45 p.m.

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James Linney and Bob Etris will co-present “Win the ‘Buy-in Battle’ with High Stakes Stakeholder Management” at DRJ Fall 2018. The pair have worked together for several years and are anxious to share their perspective and insight of the public and private sector organizations that are looking to engage their customers, consumers, operators, leaders, suppliers, regulators, and others who are part of their contingency operations strategy.

The duo will provide a humorous and engaging session with videos, testimonials, real-world examples, and ample opportunities for audience feedback to share their own experiences with winning the stakeholder buy-in battle and gain proven solutions to take away from the session. Linney and Etris will illustrate some of the challenges they have faced in stakeholder engagement and processes in overcoming them.

Attendees will hear about the government vs. industry perspective for all tactics shared, and they’ll gain insight across a broad spectrum that can be applied to their businesses. Participants will learn how to get their customers – the people who use, touch, and experience products and services – to understand the importance of contingency and disaster recovery in such a way that it accelerates organizational action on this topic.

“Getting your team, your organization, and your culture to care about a-typical business operations under times of duress and exceptional circumstances is a challenge,” says Etris. He says planning for scenarios that might occur may as well be planning for “might-never-happen” occurrences.

“We are excited that we can talk about how we’ve broken through with organizations to make that conversation and the commitment of resources really stick,” Etris adds. “It takes some creativity, but the results speak for themselves.”

According to the presenters, many continuity and recovery leaders suffer from the same challenge – getting and keeping business continuity as a consistent priority with the right level of organizational support.

The Federal Aviation Administration Air Traffic Organization is an example in the industry that manages the safest and most complex airspace in the world, moving millions of people daily from 21 centers, 200 approach controls, 476 air traffic control tower facilities, and thousands of critical pieces of equipment. However, acquiring and maintaining engagement and support for contingency planning can be quite a challenge, even in life-safety critical operations such as what the FAA manages on a daily basis. Those who rely on the services provided might have unrealistic expectations of right-sized continuity capabilities.

Not only will the pair’s presentation provide insight into a complex and widely used but little-known world of air traffic control, it will translate examples and ideas to general applications that can fit any industry or organization. This inside look at FAA’s mission will leave the audience with a greater appreciation for how everything comes together and how this invisible service of moving millions of people and packages daily is done and is actually more universal than they appear.

“With stakeholder engagement, you are empowered by commitment and resources to improve your readiness and response capabilities, as a consistent corporate priority,” Linney explains. He has had the unique opportunity to try out new techniques to gain and keep engagement high by internal and external stakeholders.

During their presentation, the pair will share relevant techniques and real-world examples of what has worked in gaining and keeping that support, how it worked for the federal government and public sector, and how that can translate to the private sector.

“My goal and expectation for the presentation is that it will inspire new ideas as they relate to the business environment of the audience and arm them with innovative ideas which can translate into initiatives to vastly improve your stakeholder buy-in,” says Linney. He says they will also present information that is transparent and relatable to their audience because making a connection to each person through stories and human experience is their goal.

“Presenting with passion on my subject, my goal is for each audience member to be able to see themselves in the stories and examples, and in doing so be able to translate the examples to their unique needs,” Linney says. “We hope to spark a dialogue, not a one-way broadcast.”

Linney shares a memorable quote from Benjamin Franklin that applies directly to the goal of their upcoming presentation: “By failing to prepare, you are planning to fail.” In today’s world of highly-connected systems with dependency on others now capable of impacting everyone’s bottom line, preparing for the inevitable is even more important because it is more complex than ever.

Etris is partner and senior director of Evans Incorporated. He has held this position for the past 15 years and has played a leading role in the success and growth of the company. As the senior director of the company’s largest customer base within aviation, Etris is charged with management and oversight of project and program operations, client engagement, and financial and operational account portfolio oversight. In addition, Etris contributes to the company’s strategic planning, marketing, and business development functions. He has more than a decade of experience in program management, business process improvement, enterprise architecture, and change management.

Linney is director of operational readiness within the Federal Aviation Administration’s Air Traffic Organization, the largest portion of the FAA, that is responsible for day-to-day air traffic control over the U.S.’s controlled airspace. He has been the director of operational readiness in 2017. This position integrates different elements of operational contingency across the agency and provides executive leadership and strategic approach in business continuity. Linney has worked in the field of system and service continuity for the past 20 years. He began his professional career in the U.S. military where he developed, deployed, and maintained technology and processes for the Navy Combat Systems and operators.
James Linney
James LinneyFederal Aviation Administration
Bob Etris
Bob EtrisEvans Incorporated
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