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The Four Agreements* of Business Continuity


When your business is challenged by Mother Nature, an act of man or a technological mishap, you will be thankful that you followed the tenants for the four agreement of business continuity, and had a well-rehearsed Business Continuity Plan in place. By doing this, your employees will still have jobs, your business will continue to support your suppliers, your customers, and you.

Be Impeccable with Your Word

Your business is your word, you have made an agreement with your employees, suppliers, and customers to provide jobs, products and services. Individuals, families, communities, other businesses – we are all interdependent. As business owners and operators we have an obligation to be prepared. Your word – your business may depend on a well-rehearsed continuity plan.

Don’t Take Anything Personally

Mother Nature’s extremes, a malicious act of man or a technological mishap are not necessarily about you, your employees, or customers. Hurricanes, roof collapse from snow load, transportation infrastructure accidents, chemical spills, vandalism, theft, utility failure - these hazards happen for reasons we cannot control. We can however, with full composure prepare for and deal with many foreseeable emergencies. From the board room to the mail room each business is a team, and as a team needs to be prepared.

Don’t Make Assumptions

Actually it’s the corollary for this one – assume the worst (sorry Don Miguel). Most smalll businesses owners do not have a business continuity plan. They are assuming that bad things will not happen! Yet in the last year alone many billions of dollars of storm related damages really happened all across the world. There is a high probability that these events will happen over and over again. We do have the power to look outside of our businesses and perceive in advance a great number of potential hazards. We can, based on science, make reasonable estimates at a hazards probability, and mitigate the majority of them to a great extent. Do not assume that it will not happen to you.

Always Do Your Best

None of us are perfect, and we cannot foresee all possible challenges. However, most of the more probable hazards are there for us see and to prepare for. We live in a truly global economy, most businesses have worldwide dependencies. It is a time for all of us to do our best, and be prepared so that lives can be protected and resources can be conserved. Start with a look at the FEMA web site for a vast resource of business continuity ideas and information. Make a plan and start a program.

*The author of the Four Agreements is Don Miguel Ruiz

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