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Here you will find articles, archive blogs and case studies that PlanB have used or created over the years. To find information please type a keyword into the search box or click on the relevant tag.

We publish weekly updates from the business continuity world, covering recent news items or reflecting on our travels and experiences with clients.

Charlie addresses topics from a Business Continuity perspective and you might be surprised how much of today’s news relates to BC! Providing valuable insight, Charlie raises critical questions which will surely encourage you to reconsider your Business Continuity plans.

Some Observations On The Baroness Mone of Mayfair OBE’s Crisis Management

In this week’s bulletin, Charlie discusses the controversy surrounding Michelle Mone and her husband Douglas Barrowman, and provides some advice around how we can improve our crisis management. I was listening to the news on the radio this morning, and they were talking about the recent revelations about the tax schemes which Michelle Mone’s husband, Douglas Barrowman, is

The Post Office Scandal – Why Now?

In this week’s bulletin, Charlie discusses the Post Office scandal and why, only now, has the scandal become headline news. You can’t avoid the post office scandal in the news this week, so I thought I should write about it. What I find interesting about this scandal is why it is now mainstream news, with the conservative government

The ‘Great A9 Disaster’ of 8th December 2023

This week, Charlie talks about his experiences with dealing with an incident on the road and discusses what he learnt from the situation. As I have mentioned a few times on this bulletin, I spend a lot of my time telling people how to respond to incidents rather than being part of the response myself. I have been

A Conversation about Resilience during the Ukrainian War

Charlie Maclean-Bristol FBCI and Gianluca Riglietti CBCI discuss resilience at a time where the conflict in Ukraine dominates the global scene.  During this informal conversation, Charlie and Gianluca address arising issues from the war in Ukraine such as cyber security and supply chain disruptions, as well as discussing related topics including the power of fake news and propaganda,

Boris, Watt and the Footballer

Charlie discusses the three biggest headlines dominating the news this past week! He covers topics from Boris to BrewDog and football. Kim and I went to Cheltenham last week to help our daughter settle into her new flat. Since we travelled on Friday, I decided to take a week off writing the bulletin. One thing we listened to

Crisis Support Teams – What are they & do I need one?

Creating an effective crisis management team can be complex as you have to take many factors into consideration. In this bulletin, Charlie outlines his thoughts on creating a crisis support team, and what their functions and roles could be. Four years ago I started working on my PhD with the University of Glasgow. After a few false starts

The Future of Incident & Crisis Management Rooms Post COVID – In a Hybrid Working World

Need a more effective way of conducting video meetings in this new hybrid world? Charlie discusses the pros, cons and solutions for utilising Microsoft Teams within your team and company. With most organisations adopting hybrid working, it is becoming more likely that incidents will be managed by a combination of people in the office and those at home.

Is Crisis Management Only For “Unprecedented and Extraordinary Events”?

In this week’s bulletin, Charlie discusses the debate around the definition of crisis management and what he thinks crisis management should cover. I was chatting with one of my clients in Renfrewshire and we talked through his crisis management plan, which he had taken from the book ‘prTS 17091, Crisis Management – Guidance for Developing a Strategic Capability’

Isle of Coll Fire – A view from the frontline

This week I talk about the recent fire on the remote island of the Isle of Coll. I discuss how the professionals and community responded and how this incident compares to others he has read about. I tell people how to manage disasters not actually take part in one! As a consultant, I tell people how to manage disasters and

Three Crisis Management Lessons from the Resignation of Sir Kim Darroch

Following the recent resignation of the UK’s ambassador to the USA, Charlie discusses what crisis management lessons we can learn from the incident. This week the resignation of the British Ambassador to the USA caught my eye as an interesting news story. Sir Kim Darroch, an extremely senior UK diplomat, resigned after a number of emails were published

I Need A Hero

Following the inquest into the 2017 London Bridge attack, Charlie discusses the heroic actions we see during incidents and why we should champion those that do something extraordinary. The news coverage of the inquest into the London Bridge attack caught my eye this week. Earlier in the week, the newspapers were reporting on the role played by the

Danny Baker – A Lesson In How Not To Manage A Crisis

Following the sacking of BBC Radio 5 Live’s presenter Danny Baker, Charlie discusses his thoughts on the incident and the crisis management lessons to be learnt. The sacking of Danny Baker, a presenter on BBC Radio 5 Live, caught my eye this week as it had a number of both good and bad practice crisis management elements. I

Avoiding Groupthink: Decision Making During A Crisis

This week, Charlie looks at decision making during incidents and offers some tools and techniques that he has picked up through his research. For a while now, I have been thinking about and looking at ways of making decisions during incidents and have been looking at simple tools and techniques that I can teach to incident management teams.

Effects of Stress on Incident Teams

This week Charlie looks at the physical effects which occur when individuals are faced with an incident and the methods that can be used to counteract them. I was in Dubai yesterday and every time I visit the city, I always feel that it is the city of the future, with its fantastic array of skyscrapers, its driverless

Writing Incident Management Objectives

This week, Charlie shares some advice on how to write incident management objectives. For this week’s bulletin, instead of commenting on an item in the news, I thought I would share some technical information on how to write incident objectives. During an incident, it is seemingly obvious that your objective is to solve the problem and return the

Russell Hume Production Shutdown – Some Observations

Charlie looks at the Russell Hume meat scandal, including the organisation’s response and the implications of having a single supplier for one of your key products. This week I thought I would take a break from promoting 3gBC and provide some observations on the Russell Hume meat scandal. Although the incident took place last month, the implications are

The Dark Side of Incident Recovery

This week Charlie looks at the dark side of major incidents, advising BC professionals to take steps to ensure individuals and organisations are not profiting from disasters, as they have done in the past. In recent disasters, such as Hurricane Harvey and Irma and the Grenfell Tower fire, we have seen the best of human spirit, with neighbours helping each other

Free Training Courtesy of President Trump

Following President Trump’s response to the far-right rally in Charlottesville, Charlie looks at the lessons business continuity professionals can take from observing crises unravelling in the media. I have always said that some of the best education on business continuity and crisis management, apart from BC Training courses, can be found watching crises unfold on the news. We can learn an immense

The Grenfell Fire Fallout…

This week Charlie shares some thoughts on how organisations should react if they are caught up, blamed, or implicated in causing a major incident. The full tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire is slowly unfolding and I am sure all readers of the bulletin join me in sending our thoughts and prayers to those who have been affected by

Incident Micromanagement – Good or bad?

After attending the Scottish Continuity Resilient Scotland Conference, Charlie shares his thoughts on incident micromanagement and the Government’s response to the travel chaos caused by heavy snowfall in 2010. Yesterday I attended the Scottish Continuity Resilient Scotland Conference at the RBS Headquarters in Edinburgh. The opening speaker was John Swinney MSP, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills. He began

Why do we not listen…

This week Charlie looks at the first two weeks of Donald Trump’s Presidency and the lessons that can be learned from a Business Continuity perspective. I am not obsessed with President Trump by any means, but at the moment, he is highly visible and there are lots of lessons to be learned from the situations he is creating. 

Defining the Competency Requirements for Incident Teams

This week Charlie looks at the performance of incident management teams and how incident team members can be assessed using competencies.  You get a new job and have been hired by organisation X to roll out business continuity within the company. You have just completed the crisis team exercise; luckily, it’s a small business with only one plan and one incident management

How a BCM should respond on hearing about the London terrorist attack

Following the terrorist attack in London, Charlie considers the actions that business continuity managers should take when dealing with similar incidents. This week I was due to write about my views on resilience, but in light of the terrorist attack in London, I thought I would share some thoughts on how a business continuity manager should respond to this type

How people behave in disasters…

Yesterday I attended a seminar on ‘Managing Community Cohesion After Major Terrorist Attacks’ at the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters in Glasgow. There were lots of highlights, including a presentation on the use of social media during major incidents, a very frank talk on the issues of managing scenes and also the aftermath of the Lee Rigby murder. One of the items which caught my attention

Is the PPRS list fit for purpose?

This week I should be writing about the horrific bombing of the civilians in Aleppo or the unfolding tragedy in Haiti after Hurricane Matthew, but I thought we might bury our heads in the sand and talk about PPRS (People, Premises, Resources and Suppliers)! In teaching the Business Continuity Institute’s (BCI) “Good Practice Guidelines” (GPG), one of the points we stress

The extra 1% of Business Continuity

This week, I thought for this week’s bulletin we should celebrate our country’s success at the Olympics, and see if there is anything we can learn from it. Often as a fan of British sport, and especially Scottish sport, we have the ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and we seemingly do well, and then fail

Strikes and Continuity

Down tools everybody out…BC planning for strikes This week Charlie talks about strike action and the effect on Business Continuity. I have my own opinions on the current junior doctor strikes but I will keep them to myself! For many of us, strikes are not a large part of our work experience as we were not in post

Paris attacks: how the BCM should respond

On the Friday night of the incident, I had the TV on all night and watched with horror as the death count rose and the full extent of the attacks was slowly revealed. The ongoing incident, and the manhunt for those who carried out and supported the attacks, is still going on. My first thoughts; why has this

Fool if you think its over……

Two items caught my eye in the news this week. The first was US and Scottish prosecutors have asked Libyan authorities for permission to interview the Libyan men, Mohammed Abouajela Masud and Abdullah al-Senussi, who they believe might have been involved in the Lockerbie bombing. The second was that I noticed the Volkswagen story was no longer being

Five Crisis Management Lessons from the VW Incident

With the VW response to the emissions scandal still headline news, I thought I would share some lessons I have identified from their response. 1.     Creeping crises are difficult to handle. In other bulletins we have talked about the difficulties of managing creeping crises. These are incidents which slowly build and suddenly reach tipping point when

A picture paints 1000 words……..

A single photograph taken during an incident can come to define the incident. The picture of Aylan Kurdi lying dead in the surf in Turkey, may come to define the refugee crisis taking place in Europe at present. Listening to some commentary on Radio 4 yesterday, they tried to explain why the picture was so powerful. The little

27/04/2015 Beware The Creeping Crisis

This week Charlie discusses how crises can be avoided by acknowledging important events leading up to them and acting upon them before it’s too late.  The horrific situation we have seen as headline news over the last week is that of hundreds of migrants being drowned in the Mediterranean. The UN confirmed on 20th April that 800 people had

15/08/2014 Working with partners during incidents

Charlie discusses how you can co-operate with clients to achieve the best results. Today I have been training a client’s staff on how to manage an incident. We went through the initial response to the incident, dealing with the immediate aftermath. It was then on to invoking the plan and discussing what sort of incidents would cause it

Good Emergency Response . . . It Is Possible!

Last week, I missed the news that yet another cruise ship had set on fire – the Royal Caribbean ship, Grandeur of the Seas, had a fire in her stern and had to return to port. The cruise was subsequently abandoned.I was searching the internet and came across an excellent article in the web edition of “The Baltimore

It’s all about the planning…

Many of you, like myself, will have watched the Queens Diamond Jubilee River Pageant and seen the Royal barge and the 1000 accompanying ships pass down the Thames. Despite the terrible weather, and the fact the pageant over ran, the event finished without any unforeseen events. According to the reports, the entire event took 3 years to plan,

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