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In this week’s bulletin, Charlie looks to 2023 and talks about what he would like to cover in next year’s bulletins.

As we come to the end of the year, and if you write regularly, then the thoughts and writing should be about what happened over the last year, as well as looking forward into the New Year. The last bulletin of the year, which is next week, is usually the best of this year, so I thought I would look forward and discuss some of the subjects I would like to write about next year. What I find really useful about the bulletin, is to take a subject which I have a vague view on, or would like to know more about, and then research the subject to learn more. I also find the process of writing very useful, in that only once you put pen to paper, you start to understand what you know and what you don’t know about the subject. That old adage I find very true is that you don’t really understand a subject until you have explained it to someone else. The other bit I find about writing is that sometimes you don’t know where the narrative will go until you start to write.

I heard an excellent description of this by crime writer, Ian Rankin. He said that he starts his crime novels with an idea or a situation and then it has its own life as he sits down and writes it. During the process of writing, the story expands, further characters appear, and the story moves to its conclusion. He once said he planned in minute detail a crime novel before he wrote it and when he actually sat down to actually write the plot, he was bored as he already knew whodunit. So the process of writing something helps solidify thoughts and it triggers additional thoughts which I might not have thought of if I planned all my writing before I started. I also hope with my bulletins that one day I can put them together and I have most of the content of a book or two!

Here are a few thoughts on ideas for next year!

  1. I have been wanting to write something on incident management for a while now. This is an area not really mentioned in the BCI’s Good Practice Guidelines, and not very well understood by many. We can have our plans and incident teams, but they need a process by which they manage an incident. I like the circular process of Situation – Decision – Action, with key tasks carried out as part of each of these processes. Incident management for me also includes a decision-making process, carrying out situational awareness to understand the situation you are in, and information management to make sure that all respondents have a shared picture of what is taking place. Some thoughts will be coming your way in the New Year.
  2. What is a checklist? We all put lists and processes in our plans. Should we put in place flow charts, a list of tasks, or a checklist of reminders? Each has its benefits and downsides and so I would like to explore which is perhaps the most useful in which circumstances.
  3. This week I have been reviewing the supply chain of an organisation we did a complete business continuity roll out for last year. One of the tasks is to think through how business continuity should be incorporated within the requirements of suppliers. I would like to share with you my thoughts and learning.
  4. I have kept meaning to do something about the Manchester bombing report and what we can learn from it. Perhaps this will include something practical that we can incorporate within our plans and procedures.
  5. Many organisations have an element of the delivery of their service to customers carried out by third parties. Working on the adage you can ‘outsource the activity but not the risk’, we may have to manage incidents which are caused by a third party working on our behalf. We may be in dispute with a third party but our customers should see us as one organisation, and any internal disputes must not be externalised. I am sure there are lots of good case studies out there which can help us think about how to respond to this type of incident.

These are the main things to think about for next year. I am very happy to receive any suggestions of other subjects which I can research and write about. I will wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year next week.

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