Wednesday, 9 May 2012

COSMOTE invests in BCM culture enhancement via BCAW 2012

It really is quite important for everyone to realise that simply having a sound Business Continuity Management System (BCMS) in place and maybe a BS25999 certificate as robust evidence that your BCM arrangements are well set and maintained, is not necessarily enough.

Learning to manage the expectations of the board, constantly having to communicate what BCM does and what it doesn’t do, explaining the value or not of a certificate to an accredited organisation, often gives you the chance to really get to know the inner bits of the system you very efficiently (hopefully) managed to build, and provides valuable insights into your employee culture and risk awareness mindset.
The Business Continuity Institute (BCI) has been organising for some years now the international Business Continuity Awareness week, an annual event, which aims to raise business continuity awareness within an organisation and is a great initiative to support the awareness raising activities of a BCM Manager.  BCAW provides a resourceful platform to help embed business continuity into an organisation and offers tailor-made solutions to support the delivery of awareness raising activities within organisations to help educate people on Business Continuity, Operational Risk Management, and Incident Consequence Management as well as in a general sense, Resilience.

2012 was the first year that we in COSMOTE, decided we should take advantage of that initiative.  The first challenge was to set up a communication action plan for the week 19th-23rd of March.

The COSMOTE Group BCM & ERM Sub Department arranged a number of activities to cater for almost every taste and need, which spanned the whole week.  A variety of communication and media channels were used including, internet-based flash games; internet-based training and social media. 

Activities included officially accredited training sessions on First Aid Assistance for Responders; Conference Presentations by internationally recognised speakers  and even Board Games and booklets, which were aimed at children aged between 7-12, as part of our corporate aspiration to create future generations with a much better  resilience mindset, based on the premise that “prevention is better than cure”.

Some months ago, we started a very close and direct cooperation with UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction in Belgium (UNISDR), UNICEF and International Red Cross in Geneva and General Secretariat of Civil Protection in Athens.  All of them congratulated us on becoming the world’s first privately owned organisation to set up an initiative and produce relevant educational material, designed to engage and increase disaster awareness amongst children in that age bracket, and I have to say that we’re very proud of being the first to have thought of it and to have achieved it with such success!

A 28-page booklet was produced entitled “Learning about disaster prevention”.  This was distributed to more than 700 parents working for COSMOTE in the Greek Language and another 100 of them in English, to parents in affiliate companies overseas.
Furthermore, we decided to develop a double-sided PVC version of Evacuation and Containment procedures (just like the ones you find for safety procedures on airplanes) based on the proven expertise and best practice of air carriers.

The presentations delivered in Athens on the subjects of Earthquake Management & Business Continuity as well as Risk Taking, Decision Making & Uncertainty Management, brought more than 200 employees together in 4 hours and was such a great success that the Group BCM Steering Committee agreed we should bring the speakers back to Athens in June to repeat the sessions, and then take them ‘beyond the city walls’ to help promote and facilitate the influence of BCM across Greece.
We were all very pleased that our poster communication for the week produced great results and the whole week’s experience left us very pleased in terms with what we had managed to achieve. We still receive mails and communications stating how useful and fun the  material produced for the children was and we are even officially called in by some of the most respected Greek & International Private Schools in Athens to present our work, which for us is the best ever testimonial that we’re moving in the right direction.

We will certainly continue to deliver world class education and maintain our successful BCMS.  We sincerely hope that next year will be even bigger and better and that we will be able to raise awareness of business continuity not just at regional level but at Group level too.

John Zeppos MBCI
Group BCM & ERM Deputy Director
COSMOTE Mobile Telecommunications S.A.

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