Corrections or additions?
This article by Kathleen McGinn Spring was prepared for the
September 26, 2001 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights
To Carry On, Redefine `Normal’
The third week after the World Trade Center tragedy
may be the right time for business to move forward, but it is not
"business as usual," say the experts at Blessing/White Inc.
What is "normal" for business has changed. In some cases
must be redefined.
Blessing/White, a global firm with its headquarters on Orchard Road,
is known for its values-driven personal and corporate growth programs.
In the latest newsletter,
some ideas on how to move forward and thrive as a workforce community
know from our experience with culture initiatives that symbolism is
a powerful way to foster a sense of community and purpose. Whether
it’s a moment of silence, the raising of a flag, a poster signed to
show respect for personal losses, an organization-wide step can help
people feel connected. It also recharges the mind, body, emotion,
case of "Last week we took care of our people; this week let’s
focus on the business." Remember that people make any business
Don’t assume that the folks who seemed fine last week are still okay.
Breaking news or emerging practical worries — all of these can
trip up the most steadfast individuals. Check in with them again.
And again in a day or two. And again next week.
Keep your executives visible, circulating between meetings, talking
with people. Encourage informal gatherings where colleagues and even
customers can connect with one another personally. Continue to reach
out to telecommuters and others working outside the office.
Don’t compartmentalize work from life "outside." Distribute
information on community events and provide opportunities for
to assist in local support efforts or memorial ceremonies.
business may provide comfort and demonstrate patriotic resolve.
may even crave predictable work-place rhythms and ask to get back
to business. However, many aren’t at a place where they can give their
all 100 percent of the time. They will likely "see-saw"
a range of emotions — loss, denial, fear, anger, indignation,
despair — mixed with an expressed need and desire to focus on
We know that this "roller-coaster ride" is a common reaction
to life-changing events. And we know that time and information are
critical to people’s ability to move forward. In the wake of a tragedy
as profound as last Tuesday’s, everyone is stepping back and
on what’s important. For many, their core values and beliefs are being
shaken or tested as never before.
Therefore, continue to give people the space they need to talk about
what has happened. Know that some will move forward more quickly than
others. Be patient, knowing that setbacks will occur, morale may
and productivity may be uneven.
of mission can help provide meaning in one arena of employees’ lives
at a time when they have been jolted out of their routine and face
ongoing uncertainty. Give people the chance to connect with a larger
purpose. What does your organization stand for? How are you connected
to the larger world? What are you in service of? Why does your work
not just from the corner offices. People need direction, reassurance,
competence, and compassion.
Even if you are not "officially" in a leadership position,
now is the time to lead. Walk around; be seen; show resolve; connect
with your colleagues and your customers. Model and encourage other
and, most important, meaning — that is, how their actions matter
personally and professionally.
to customers and others who depend on you.
experienced anything like these horrors. If you take care of the
the business can follow.
In the aftermath of the World Trade Center disaster,
hundreds of businesses have stories to tell about how they
operations quickly. Some were more prepared than others, and their
stories are an example to the ostriches, the business owners who
assumed that "the worst" could never happen, that they would
never need to reconstitute their entire business from the ground up.
Financial services companies were well prepared. They are so highly
regulated that their level of audits surpasses any other private
corporate security policies and business continuity plans for a major
financial services firm in New York. He offers this outline as a
for any business worried about security or continuity.
Kennedy and his wife,
at the Trenton Business and Technology Center last summer
fax, 866-511-3175, www.textexcellence.com). It does online or print
documentation for external or internal audiences — user manuals,
training modules, and policies and procedures manuals. Among its
have been internal documentation for a Reuters company, Radiance;
a software user manual for a firm in Mendham; and documentation for
Cravath, Swaine, and Moore in New York City.
The first step in planning for the worst is to know your pain
says Kennedy. On a personal level, if you are buying life insurance,
you would figure out how much (or how little) your family needs in
order to survive. On a corporate level, if you are buying security
systems, measure your pain threshold by the length of time your
can survive without systems, services, and facilities and exist
"Continuity planning is a multi-phase, multi-level process that
needs to engage the entire company," says Kennedy. "The first
phase is Business Impact Analysis (BIA), a management-level analysis
that identifies critical functions and resources; calculates the
of losing these functions and resources; and measures the pain
With a BIA in hand, top executives can calculate how to mitigate their
risks and determine their priorities — which systems to rescue
Next comes the disaster recovery plan (DRP). "This is the plan
that will be used in the event of an emergency. It contains detailed
contact information, data on emergency procedures, and a breakdown
of responsibilities for all personnel," says Kennedy.
"Support for business continuity must come from the highest levels
of management to be effective," he warns, "otherwise plans
will not be created and executed."
Testing is vital. "It’s not enough to draw up plans and send out
information bulletins; plans need to be thoroughly tested and updated
to maintain their effectiveness."
Business continuity planning can be broken down into the following
and scoped. Management endorses the projects and assigns sponsors
the critical processes, tools, records, and interdependencies. These
documents are typically called Business Impact Analyses (BIAs).
have been identified, devise plans for risk elimination, mitigation
the planning of the Emergency Response; the procedures to be
in the event of a disaster. What organizational structures must be
in place? What must happen to initially recover core functions and
later resume normal operations. This document is the Disaster Recovery
Plan or DRP.)
(frequency, scenarios, test-type). Draw plans to meet these objectives
and ultimately the actual test and test success evolution, findings,
and recommendations (or post mortems).
both routine and non-routine updating and maintenance. Change the
plan in response to feedback from audits, a plan tests, or incident
of its effectiveness in the face of a real disaster.
representative, and he is the 11th of 13 children, all with a college
degree. He graduated from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia
and has worked for Dow Jones, Hyperion Solutions, and the German
Bank in positions of technical writer and technical translator.
Sebald-Kennedy is the daughter of a master bookbinder; she earned
a communications degree in 1994 from Wuerzburg University in Germany;
with a Spanish mother and German father, she is fluent in three
and an accomplished watercolorist with separate website for that
This is the second company Kennedy has started; the first was in
"I knew there was an opportunity here for a technical writing
business; this area has many freelancers, and agencies that employ
technical writers, but not many companies are branding themselves
primarily as technical writing services. We are building our
in the Route 1 corridor and plan to expand later."
He chose the Trenton-based incubator as his first location because,
"For what I do, people don’t need me to have a Princeton address.
They want good quality work. After I spoke with Al Spiewak, we were
convinced, because he is both an attorney and an entrepreneur, and
we thought his skills could help us."
He feels confident in his own success: "Companies today are
for content support, for someone who knows the subject matter, or
can learn and adapt quickly."
When to cancel, when to keep going, that’s the dilemma
for many organizations who scheduled fund raisers for the weeks
the World Trade Center disaster.
full speed ahead with his event. This is the third year for his
Alliance 5K race, set for Saturday, October 6, at 10 a.m. at the
Center 101 parking lot. "We saw it as a great opportunity to
says Fennelly. "For every dollar we get we’re giving 75 cents
to cure Parkinson’s Disease and 25 cents to a disaster relief
The length is 5 kilometers or 3.1 miles, which turns out to be one
round-trip around the Carnegie Center. Preregistration costs $20,
$22 on race day starting at 8:30 a.m., and the one-mile fun run at
9:30 a.m. is $10. Register online at www.active.com or call
"I see a lot of people cancel events," says Fennelly, real
estate broker with NAI Fennelly Associates. "But I think it’s
an opportunity. You’ve got the momentum going. You go with the event
and turn some of that money over to a disaster relief fund. You turn
it, you spin it, you make it a positive event."
He decided that for this year’s race, 75 percent of the proceeds will
got to cure Parkinson’s disease, and 25 percent will go to a disaster
fund. He has $25,000 in the bank even before the race starts and if
he has 400 runners (last year he had 321) that would bring in another
$10,000, a good piece of change for both causes.
It’s a professionally conducted and sanctioned race, with Baldasari
& Leestma timers and scoring by Compuscore. The finish line is being
decorated by the locally famous Arnie the Balloon man, and prizes
will be awarded in five-year age categories. Up to 400 runners will
get T-shirts, and children get McDonald’s Happy Meals and kid-size
T-shirts, as long as they last. Other refreshments will be pizzas,
bagels, and fruit.
The primary sponsor is Pharmacia Corporation. Others include American
Express Corp. Services, Bloomberg, Boston Properties Inc., College
Road Associates, Continental Airlines, Future Signs, Hyatt Regency
Princeton, Interpool Inc., KickStart! Mailing Services, Leigh Photo
& Imagine, Lenox, Mack-Cali Realty Corp, Taylor Technology, the Eagle
Group, and Yardley National Bank.
"My six-year-old daughter and my 78-year-old father are going
to do the full race," says Fennelly. He is giving out red white
and blue scarves in addition to the race T-shirts. "We’re going
to make it a patriotic event and show the runners a good time,"
he says. "We are trying to make a difference."
Dine at Sunny Garden on Farber Road on Tuesday, October
2, and the owner,
your check to the American Red Cross. "If you come in and spend
$50, that 50 bucks goes to the Red Cross," says
the manager. Tips will nevertheless be distributed to the staff. A
full house for dining (200 seats) might yield $6,000 or $7,000 in
"We want people to come in and eat so they can share
says Yuen. "And if people and want to donate something extra,
there is a box there to do that." A spouse of one of the waiters
escaped from the 81st floor where she worked for the Port Authority,
and some of restaurant’s regular customers are still missing.
country and this community has been good to us and we need to do
back," says Yuen. For reservations call 609-520-1881.
Support for the grief, anger, and anxiety following
the destruction of the World Trade Center is available from many
Preeminent in offering help is the American Red Cross, which has
its emotional health counseling to a science. In the days following
the tragedy, volunteers from the Central New Jersey chapter were at
the Princeton Junction train station handing out brochures on how
to deal with trauma and how to talk to children (see sidebar, page
Last week Red Cross trained therapists conducted
sessions for exhausted volunteer workers and staff members who were
so busy caring for others that they might have forgotten to tend to
their own emotional needs. Red Cross counselors can bring these
to any workplace that lost an employee or a relative of an employee
on September 11. Call 609-951-8550 or go to www.njredcross.org.
Many specialized counseling organizations are emphasizing that they
offer post-trauma counseling, for free or scaled according to
ability to pay. Most of these groups operate on a fee-scale basis
anyway, but they are reaching out during this tragic time to be sure
that everyone who needs services will feel comfortable about asking
for them. Call the United Way at 609-896-1912 for a referral.
Corrections or additions?
This page is published by PrincetonInfo.com
— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.