General Sessions

General Sessions Monday and Wednesday Mornings

The morning General Sessions are tailored to a broad audience covering topics that appeal to all conference attendees.

Start your day of learning and networking with sessions that focus on the best business continuity strategies, trends and topics in the industry.

General Session 1

Leading on Your Feet: How to Effectively Lead Through Change and Uncertainty

Monday, March 25, 2019
8:15 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

Andrew Tarvin, Humor that Works

Speaker Spotlight

Andrew Tarvin

We live in a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) world. Strategies change frequently, businesses rise and fall overnight, and the only constant is change. As a result, there is a gap between intention and action that leads to unleadership: things leaders do that they don’t even realize are demotivating, demoralizing, and demoting the people around them.

Today’s leaders have to be adept at leveraging their team’s strengths, adapting on their feet, and confidently leading through change. In short, they need to be able to improvise. This engaging and interactive program will teach you the principles of what it means to lead in today’s VUCA world. Combining the latest in today’s thought leadership with advanced techniques from improvisation, attendees not only learn what it means to lead on their feet, they develop the skills to do it.

About Andrew Tarvin
Andrew Tarvin is the world’s first humor engineer who is teaching people how to get better results while having more fun. He has worked with more than 35,000 people at more than 250 organizations, including P&G, Microsoft, and the FBI. He is a best-selling author, has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and FastCompany, and his TEDx talk has been viewed more than 2 million times.

General Session 2

Managing Risks: Finding Sanity in the Uncertainty of Today’s Risks Environment

Monday, March 25, 2019
9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Ann Pickren, OnSolve

Speaker Spotlight

Ann Pickren

Identifying and managing risks in today’s environment is magnitudes beyond what we have managed historically. Managing risks now means expanding our focus to independent risks but also the consideration of systemic risks – both internal and external. In this session, Ann Pickren, along with a panel of experts, will share their concepts of managing the new expanded risk horizons we must all consider.

About Ann Pickren
Ann Pickren currently serves as the president, commercial for OnSolve, LLC.

General Session 3

Executive Views at Managing Risk in an Uncertain World

Monday, March 25, 2019
10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Jeff Dato, VolCorp
Dennis Gorges, Jack Henry & Associates
Delroy Ross, Cigna
Steve Rancour, Bayer

Jeff Dato Dennis Gorges Delroy Ross Steve Rancour

No one will ever be able to identify all of your organization’s risks. Although you cannot foresee every potential disruptive event, you can establish strategies and mechanisms to position your organization to manage risks appropriately. Due to today’s uncertain world, it is increasingly difficult to predict what new event will cause an unacceptable outage. This panel discussion includes senior-level leaders who have established high-value risk management programs. Come learn from their experience. You’ll want to stay around for the Q&A portion of this session!

About Jeff Dato
Jeff Dato, SVP, chief risk officer, VolCorp

About Dennis Gorges
Dennis Gorges, GM of ERM, Jack Henry & Associates

About Delroy Ross
Delroy Ross, global business continuity officer, Cigna

About Steve Rancour
Steve Rancour, risk management lead, Bayer, crop science division

General Session 4

How Will You Spend the First Few Minutes of Your Crisis? Hopefully Wisely!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019
8:15 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

Regina Phelps, EMSS

Speaker Spotlight

Regina Phelps

When faced with a fast-moving and potentially catastrophic incident, what will make the difference in your ability to respond rapidly and effectively? Every organization is dealing with this issue as our current threats escalate in intensity and frequency. Ransomware, malware, denial of service attacks, and cyber intrusions of all kinds have placed a laser beam spotlight on how effective we are as an organization in the first few moments and hours of a crisis.

What your company does in those first few minutes and hours will make all the difference in the world. To do that, the first thing you need is situational awareness, a sound assessment process and a clear understanding from where issues are coming.

This fast-paced general session presentation will cover what you need to have in place to make that first hour truly golden for your organization. Some Items to be covered:

  • Situational awareness – What is it and where can you get it?
  • Incident assessment – What is an effective and timely process?
  • Exercises – Gotta do them!

About Regina Phelps
Regina Phelps, CEM, RN, BSN, MPA, president/CEO, Emergency Management and Safety Solutions.

General Session 5

The Art of Business Continuity — A Color of Risk, a Palette for Success

Wednesday, March 27, 2019
9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Michele Turner, Amazon

Michele L. Turner

Business continuity is quite a scary swirl of colors. Did we select the right colors (critical functions) to begin the masterpiece? Do we have the necessary brushes (tools and templates) to turn the swirl into a modern-day “Starry Night” like van Gough? Do we understand which colors really blend (dependencies) in order to create a rich hue? During this discussion, we’ll look at examples of strong methods to discover all of the above. We’ll share case studies, when controls and policies were not fully understood that turned a beautiful canvas into something less than appealing. The goodness is when we have a set of instructions, start with a charcoal drawing (exercises and tests), and see what corrections need to be made ahead of time so the color of risk, no matter from which prism you view it, can be so sharp it sets the stage for a stunning palette of success!

About Michele Turner
Michele L. Turner, MBCP, FBCI, CISA, CRISC, GRCP, is the senior manager for the business resiliency - corporate business continuity and risk for Amazon.

General Session 6

Envisioning ‘20/20’ Foresight in an Uncertain World: Considering Crisis Management Predictive Planning and Decision Making

Wednesday, March 27, 2019
10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Robert Chandler, Lipscomb University

Speaker Spotlight

Robert Chandler

Critical decisions must be made in challenging conditions in an uncertain world. Decision makers often lament of the difficulty of uncertain futures (“cloudy crystal ball” forecasting) and high uncertainty (“flying blind in a storm”) decisions during a crisis. Critics of some decisions, including post-facto second guessing (“Monday morning quarterbacking”), sometimes hear the defensive rebuttal that only “hindsight is 20/20.” But is it? Can “foresight” clarity also be 20/20? In addition to challenging situational factors blurring a clear view of future consequences, the present human mind can be clouded with cognitive issues, biases, limitations, emotions, dysfunctions, as well as misunderstanding factual variables, misremembering precedents, misconstruing key elements, and poorly anticipating the future. This session explores the challenges of predictive planning for future uncertain situations as well as the “uncertainty whirlwind” in which crisis decision making must be accomplished and common challenges for information sharing, brainstorming, scenario simulations, predictive modeling, causal effects, optimal outcomes, worst-case mitigation, and the role of unintended consequences.

About Robert Chandler
Robert Chandler, Ph.D. currently holds an academic appointment as a professor at Lipscomb University.

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