Why most businesses remain average

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Unexpected events are increasing at an unprecedented rate in a complex world yet the average company or mid-size business is not planning for business disruption.

Surveys1 repeatedly come up with appalling low percentages of companies that have a business continuity plan in place.

What could be the reason for this?

One reason could be that companies are so focused on operational issues that they don’t get around to developing a business continuity plan. Another reason could be that companies are not aware of business continuity management. A further reason could be that companies believe that in the event of a disruptive incident they have IT experts, disaster recovery and crisis plans or simply that their insurance will pay (which is a mistaken belief). If you are interested in other reasons go to this InformationWeek article­2.

In psychology, the Dunning–Kruger effect3is a cognitive bias in which people overestimate their ability. In simple language what this means is that people are not objective about their lack of competence or are not even aware that they lack competence.

If we look at companies that don’t have business continuity plans in place, we could infer that they overestimate their abilities to deal with a disruptive incident that can affect their business operations.

Companies who want to rise above the average should relook at the sigmoid curve4. What the sigmoid curve showshow every growth curve will eventually plateau unless the cycle is interrupted. In a similar way, companies don’t realise the frequency of disruptive events given the volatility in their operating environment and that they can recover from a disruptive incident (faster and with far less loss) if they planned for the event beforehand.

In these times with an avalanche of pressure points and potential business disruptors, companies shouldn’t settle for average but should rather take action and ensure that they have business continuity plans in place. Shareholders are counting on businesses for dividends and capital growth and customers want surety they are equipped to supply them with goods and services despite disruptions in their business or supply chains.

Chesney Bradshaw is an experienced internationally certified ISO 22301 business continuity implementer and auditor. His PECB (certification body for persons, management systems, and products) certifications):

ISO 22301 Lead Implementer 

ISO 22301 Lead Auditor 

If you would like, I can take you through the requirements of ISO 22301 at no charge.


1. 51% of companies globally don’t have a business continuity plan.

2.Reasons Your Employees Don’t Care About Business Continuity

3.Dunning–Kruger effect 


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