Today, most people feel on the precipice of some disaster, whether it is access to bad news 24/7, pandemic side effects, or just simply the realities of our present world. And smart businesses are no different. Whether a disaster happens or not, intelligent business leaders understand the need to be able to recover from natural and man-made disasters.
Dr. David Lindstedt’s start in business continuity was trial-by-fire. With a laugh, he describes the situation, “I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.’’ But, if one looks at where he is now, Founder and CEO of Adaptive BC Solutions, it seems serendipitous.
He was attending a meeting at The Ohio State University when they happened to be looking for someone to step up and run an enterprise business continuity program. With his experience in project and portfolio management, they thought, why not David? His response was, “I don’t know what business continuity is,” and they said, “That’s okay, we can train you on that part.” He went for it and ran the enterprise continuity program that encompassed 60,000 students, 32,000 employees, and 500 buildings on five different campuses.
Since helping over 250 Ohio State departments develop business continuity plans for disaster preparedness, he has developed a practical and effective methodology for business continuity that earned him and his company an industry certification.
He helps explain business continuity. “It’s not that old of a discipline. Basically, it started with Y2K. People were like, ‘Hey, if we lose all of our computer systems that run everything, what are we going to do to keep the business running?’ It’s been really interesting to get in on the ground floor of something like that.” Dr. Lindstedt has helped many companies plan and train thousands of people across diverse industries, and devised a proven and practical approach with specialized software unique from other business continuity methodologies.
The Adaptive BC Solutions, Dr. Lindstedt Approach
“In general, it differs from traditional standard business continuity.” Traditional approaches are all about documentation, but Dr. Lindstedt uses a vastly different approach. “Typically consultants gather all sorts of statistics and data, requirements and dependencies, and the Business Continuity Planner can use some of that, but the organization can’t.” Essentially, businesses spend a disproportionate amount of time and money collecting data that the organization and the people implementing the preparedness action plan will never use. It becomes the proverbial binder on a shelf.
“People who are sick of the traditional approach often come to us to think about a new approach.” It’s easy to see why Adaptive BC Solutions are 11 to 18 times faster. Dr. Lindstedt explains how his method works in reverse, a “time-to-value” formula compared with traditional approaches.
Adaptive BC Solutions’ time-to-value is that preparedness starts on day one. We’re working immediately with the participants, preparing them to recover from a disaster. Every time we have a meeting, your people are a little more prepared to recover from disaster. We just cut out all the fat.”
He explains that it isn’t about the data or filling out templates. He adds that his methodology is very different. “It’s about preparing; it’s about capabilities. It’s about getting people ready and ensuring they have the knowledge, training, and resources to do what they need to do.”
An essential aspect of Dr. Lindstedt’s methodology is making sure that everyone in the organization not only knows what they have to do in the event of a disaster but they have practiced it. In the event of a cyber-attack, an expert will come in and make everyone get off their computers and the communications person will tell everyone not to talk to the press or post anything on social media. But the business continuity expert must ensure that “Sally and John in payroll have a plan to step up and keep payroll going.”
“It’s the only approach I know of to measure preparedness and recoverability.” According to Dr. Lindstedt, many people doing business continuity don’t have any reliable way to measure the effectiveness of the plans they are creating or tools for determining whether the company would recover from a disaster.
The tools and software developed by Dr. Lindstedt provides a quantitative measure of progress over time, allowing organizations to gauge their level of preparedness more accurately. They employ scripted situational exercises to explore potential pitfalls, conduct gap analysis, and extract valuable lessons learned. Moreover, the software streamlines the management of the preparedness process, making it a comprehensive and effective solution.
Dr. Lindstedt’s immense experience and studies in business continuity, along with his two books on the subject, Adaptive Business Continuity: A New Approach and Building Resilient Organizations through Change, Chance, and Complexity, solidify his status as a foremost expert in the discipline. His journey, from a fortuitous entry into business continuity to the development of a groundbreaking methodology, is a testament to the critical role of preparation and action in safeguarding businesses against the worst.
In a world where disasters loom large, Dr. Lindstedt’s approach to business continuity shifts the focus from endless data collection to practical, real-world readiness. He and his company Adaptive BC Solutions arms businesses with the knowledge, the tools, and the experience to recover from natural, technological and human-made disasters.