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The Shark Week Effect and Business Continuity

It’s Shark Week. The one week each year where millions of people tune in to learn about one of the planet’s most feared predators. It’s the one week we mix fear with reverence for the magnificence of this creature. In a timely coincidence, major news outlets have also reported on a surge in shark activity and attacks along U.S. coastlines. So what does all of this shark mania have to do with business resilience?

It reminds us to expect the unexpected, prepare for the worst while hoping for the best, and to use common sense.

These age-old mantras are the backbone of any good business resilience plan.

While you are more likely to be killed by a falling icicle than a shark1, that doesn’t mean it never happens. So consider what the most damaging event to your organization is (hacking, earthquake, severe weather) and make sure you have a plan in place so you can react immediately. Hopefully you’ll never need to put the plan into action, but it’s always nice to know it’s there.

Another lesson we can learn from Shark Week? Don’t panic in shark infested waters2. In the face of a work disruption or critical event panic can take over and create a frenzy of unanticipated activity. Making your employees aware that a solid business resilience plan exists offers reassurance that in the event of a crisis, they—and the company—can survive. Practicing response and action plans throughout the year will give people the confidence to respond appropriately during an actual critical event.

Finally, the main takeaway from watching Shark Week? Use common sense. The ocean is their home3, so if they are getting too close for comfort, don’t get in the water. Make your employees aware of simple things they may not think about, like the dangers of opening a suspicious email attachment on their computer. A major crisis can occur because of a simple mistake. Training your employees on common sense precautions may save you a lot of headaches in the future.