What is the common factor between worldwide fast-food chains and successful business continuity management in different offices of the same organisation? The answer is that both use a combination of global and local approaches, otherwise known as ‘glo-cal’. For the fast-food restaurants, global rules that must apply everywhere include safety, hygiene, accounting and branding policies. However, on a country-by-country basis, establishments may be able to offer their clientele supplements or variations to the standard menu. A similar idea can be applied to implementing business continuity planning and management across different branch or country offices.

Business continuity standards and best practices are relevant to everyone. They describe the principles to be used, as well as the key processes. This foundation is essential if business continuity is to work correctly. Consistency between locations is important for ensuring efficient use of resources. It also allows different members of staff to step in and maintain business continuity if necessary. In addition, using the same proven process to reliably assess and plan for business resilience means that items are less likely to be overlooked.

However, local adaptations in business continuity management are also possible. For example, communicating and educating employees about business continuity might be done in different ways. In one office or country, the business culture may be to have formal training sessions. In another, on-the-job instruction and monitoring of employee business continuity awareness may work better. Part of the art of good business continuity is finding the right balance between defining policies and procedures that must globally be observed, and allowing suitable local flexibility to enhance people’s acceptance and enthusiasm for following them.