The more I look at the picture below the more questions and thoughts it raises for me. I just find it fascinating.

Of all the pictures published on the news pages (this was on the BBC website) about the snowfall along the east coast of the US this week – this is the one image I kept on being drawn back to. I was tempted to offer it up for a caption competition just to see what thoughts it provoked from others.

The reason I find this image so curious is that in the face of all the disruption and adversity caused to commuters and residents by the blizzards these guys appear to have struggled relentlessly and bravely to get coffee! Thank goodness the barista was able to get to work ahead of them – well done to that person – they are a hero!

During the snowfall we were hearing reports of transport shutdowns, families running low on food, accidents, power failures and business disruptions but ‘it’s all OK guys because we got coffee!’ On a daily basis I hear colleagues commenting when they arrive at the office that they ‘need coffee’ or ‘don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee’ so I’m starting to wonder whether I’ve missed something in the requirements gathering work that I’ve done in the past – this stuff may be more critical than I thought.

So back to the guys in the picture. What are they doing? Are they waiting for a bus? Are they trying to walk to their destinations? How long have they been there? There certainly appears to be an air of concern in some of the facial expressions. It could be perhaps that the combination of a large skinny latte and standing outside in the cold is making them feel a bit uncomfortable, and that damn bus is already 20 minutes late! How much longer?

As far as we can see, none of the people are wearing gloves, and most are not wearing any headgear, despite the obvious cold temperatures, which again emphasises the priority given to coffee over basic, fundamental items of clothing which I would have thought would have been necessary for the conditions. I really am so out of touch and indeed I clearly underestimate again the salvation and fortitude one can get in a cup these days.

Perhaps we need to revisit Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and make specific reference to coffee in the first layer. Actually I wouldn’t be surprised if someone out there has already done this, any coffee marketers out there who have used it in an ad campaign perhaps?

So there you go. I just wanted to share this with you and if there is a serious note underneath all of this it is to remember that we must consider the most basic requirements in our Business Continuity planning. After all, our organisations rely on people and if we don’t care for their needs when incidents occur they won’t be able to, or won’t want to function so our plans, strategies and solutions will fail – all for the price of a latte!

January 27, 2016 at 11:17 am
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Category: Business Impact Analysis, Planning
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