Heads in the Sand: Managing Your Business in Times of Trouble

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Alex Fullick is a man on a mission. He's a man with a passion for business life, business culture and business success - and he wants to ensure that businesses, big and small, have plans in place to see them through times of crisis and disaster, which will inevitably come their way.

Alex Fullick is a man on a mission. He's a man with a passion for business life, business culture and business success - and he wants to ensure that businesses, big and small, have plans in place to see them through times of crisis and disaster, which will inevitably come their way.

Fullick is a strong proponent and ardent advocate of a process and a creed known as Business Continuity Management (BCM). He wants men and women in the business world to come to an understanding that their enterprises are not bullet-proof; sooner or later, their companies will run into trouble - and Fullick wants them to be prepared for it. He wants to offer them an insurance program - he wants them to understand the value in a business safety net.

Fullick, who has been a BCM professional for the past 15 years, is the founding director of StoneRoad, a consultancy and training company based in Guelph, Ontario. His first published book, aptly entitled Heads in the Sand: What Stops Corporations from Seeing Business Continuity as a Social Responsibility, is now in release.

Heads in the Sand tackles a subject - Crisis Leadership - that many business leaders might prefer to ignore or put on the back-burner. Fullick uses real-life examples to make his point, discussing crisis-styled issues ranging from corporate misbehaviour (Enron and WorldCom, to cite two examples) to the impact of a potential terrorist attack or a hugely damaging man-made disaster such as the Exxon Valdez oil spill off Alaska. Fullick also discusses the matter of public perception as it relates to BCM and crisis control, citing the hugely negative recent example of the leaders of the U.S. Big 3 automakers pleading for a government bailout, while showing up for U.S. Senate hearings in private corporate jets.

Heads in the Sand offers examples of first-rate leadership: Winston Churchill's commitment to British triumph in the Second World War; Michael McCain's public visibility and acceptance of responsibility in his company's Ontario-based tainted-meat crisis in 2008; James Burke and his tough decision-making as he led Johnson & Johnson through the deadly Tylenol affair in 1982. By way of balance, Fullick also cites instances where leadership and appropriate decision-making were lacking: the Sunrise Propane explosion in Toronto in 20008; the Snow Brand poisoned-milk crisis in Japan in 2000; and, perhaps the ultimate in corporate misdirection, the Exxon Valdez oil-spill scandal of 1989.

Heads in the Sand should be required reading for corporate executives. Fullick argues persuasively that responsible corporate crisis-management behaviour goes a long way toward maintaining - and in some cases, rebuilding - a company's brand and public image. The flip side of that coin is simply that irresponsible behaviour reaps its own negative rewards. In the end, it's all about leadership, it's all about people - and it's all about doing the right thing at the right time.

Heads in the Sand
What Stops Corporations from Seeing Business Continuity as a Social Responsibility
by A. Alex Fullick
ISBN: 9780981365701
$24.99

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