We can all cite examples of deviations from political correctness. The PC Brigade have almost succeeded in brainwashing us into thinking that anything remotely controversial is now socially unacceptable. How much is this culture now beginning to impact our organisations?

In Business Continuity planning we often have to develop operational models that are different to the norm. Not many organisations have the luxury of duplicated operational sites with all the right skills, capacity and capabilities with which to absorb the workload of another site if it is compromised. For a start it doesn’t usually make economic sense to do so. We run our organisations as lean as possible now.

I’ve also seen many a frustrated project manager coming out of stakeholder meetings stating that politics are hindering their project (I almost used the word he to refer to the project manager then but of course that would be non PC!). This inevitably leads to delays and project cost overruns but possibly also inefficiencies if the project is not allowed to deliver the optimum solution.

Individuals within organisations often have their own political agendas based on a desire for protection, status or self-promotion. Ironically everyone blames the politics of the layer above. Sometimes, the further up the scale one goes, the more complex these agendas become because they extend out to external parties and other organisations. These agendas can often conflict with the work to implement projects or solutions. ‘I know my business case stacks up, the due diligence selection process is solid and yet the sponsor still favours an alternative supplier!’

Developing business continuity solutions is about the facts. It considers business objectives, resources, skillsets, functionality, performance and capacity – it’s about your organisation surviving. Any deviations or obstacles that need to be circumnavigated simply to avoid the risk of offending someone or causing a few ripples only serve to delay or dilute the effectiveness of the solutions.

Now of course I am not saying that we should all ignore the need for a degree of political correctness, more that we should remember to strike an appropriate balance. There are situations where it is necessary and correct to do what is required based on the hard facts and risks faced.

The challenge is how to get round the political issues. Good communication, particularly in explaining the objectives and reasoning behind selected solutions will be a help. If you can get to understanding the political environment of your organisation and of the people by looking at the big picture you will be able to anticipate some of the sensitivities and be ready to manage them.