One of the biggest challenges organizations face when it comes to business continuity planning is gaining executive buy-in. But once you have initial buy-in and begin creating your plans, your work doesn’t stop there.
The key to successful management and implementation of your business continuity program is to find and leverage the right stakeholders to represent the high-level vision and values, not just to C-Suite executives, but to your entire organization.
The best way to achieve this: enlist the support of an Executive Sponsor.
What is An Executive Sponsor?
An Executive Sponsor is a key leader, often holding a c-suite role, whose support and participation can boost your organization’s business continuity program’s success.
If you have the leadership team and key stakeholders on board, there will be significant business drive to sustain momentum and achieve program adoption.
In fact, research indicates that 86% of respondents indicated that when the CEO was either fairly or very visible, their transformation project was either very successful or extremely successful.1
The Role of an Executive Sponsor
An Executive Sponsor offers significant value and can:
Align Your BC Program With Organizational Goals
These individuals can bring a unique perspective to your BC planning and implementation, while providing clarity around key business goals. With this information in mind, you can clearly define an overarching program vision, goals and success metrics that aligns with the full executive team’s priorities.
Offer Advice for Overcoming Challenges and Set-Backs
With any organizational initiative, there are bound to be challenges and set-backs. An executive sponsor will not only bring advice from an advanced level of experience, but also have key insights on how to navigate your business environment to enact change.
Encourage Full Organizational Buy-In
Executives often have the greatest influence on a company and can draw increased visibility around the value and benefit of a program throughout your entire organization. By actively participating in and representing business continuity planning, your sponsor will automatically reinforce desired support.
Ensures Business Continuity Remains Top of Mind
Your sponsor can play a role in communicating your program’s vision to other leaders across the organization. Having someone who contributes to your planning and is aware of success metrics, to represent your program to an executive platform is critical for ongoing support and program maintenance.
Aids in Adoption of BC Software and Tools
When implementing the use of new software to support your business continuity program, your sponsor can help you determine which solution will best meet your program’s needs and ensure it is successfully used to protect your organization’s assets.
Whether you are new to business continuity or have robust, enterprise-wide support, your BC program can benefit from the help of an Executive Sponsor. Make sure to make the most of your efforts to plan for and protect your organization.
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1. "Creating Organizational Transformations,” McKinsey, 2008
Topics: Business Continuity
Written by Meghan Richter
Meghan is a Senior Content Strategist for Sungard AS. She’s spent her career telling the stories of how brands have made a difference, solved a problem or created better business outcomes. As part of the Assurance Software team, she shares the story of how comprehensive business continuity programs can provide companies with the confidence to face any threat, from natural disasters to cyber attacks. When she’s not writing about business continuity best practices, you’ll find Meghan jogging or cooking up a new recipe.