Prepare for Anything Write Continuity Plans

Don’t Cancel Fundraisers

Fundraising Event

Red Cross Counseling

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, Chris Rice, president and CEO, lists

some ideas on how to move forward and thrive as a workforce community


Mark the event in order to look toward the future. We

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,

and spirit.

Continue to emphasize personal connection . It’s not a

case of "Last week we took care of our people; this week let’s

focus on the business." Remember that people make any business

strategy possible:

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.

Go forward but give employees time to reflect . A humming

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.

Underscore your organization’s reason for being . Clarity

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


Lead as never before . This is a time for leadership, and

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

leaders to:

"Show up" as a person: Share your feelings, hopes, and


Help others refocus and prioritize by providing information

and, most important, meaning — that is, how their actions matter

personally and professionally.

When you need to, remind people of obligations or commitments

to customers and others who depend on you.

Be empathetic to others’ concerns and interests. Most have never

experienced anything like these horrors. If you take care of the


the business can follow.

Top Of Page
Prepare for Anything Write Continuity Plans

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


says Robert B. Kennedy of TextExcellence. Last year he wrote

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, Monica Sebald-Kennedy started their


at the Trenton Business and Technology Center last summer


fax, 866-511-3175, 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


escalating expenses.

"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


Project Initiation Phase . The need for a project is


and scoped. Management endorses the projects and assigns sponsors

and owners.

Functional Requirements Phase . A structured review of

the critical processes, tools, records, and interdependencies. These

documents are typically called Business Impact Analyses (BIAs).

Plan Design and Development Phase . Once the risks or


have been identified, devise plans for risk elimination, mitigation

and/or recovery.

Implementation Phase The implementation phase addresses

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.)

Testing and Plan Exercise Phase . Determine testing


(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).

Maintenance and Update Phase . Every plan will require

both routine and non-routine updating and maintenance. Change the

plan in response to feedback from audits, a plan tests, or incident


Execution Phase . The true test of a plan is the level

of its effectiveness in the face of a real disaster.

A native of Ardmore, Pennsylvania, Kennedy’s father was a


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."

Top Of Page
Don’t Cancel Fundraisers

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. Jerry Fennelly decided to push

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 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."

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Fundraising Event

Dine at Sunny Garden on Farber Road on Tuesday, October

2, and the owner, Yu-Lien Yen, will turn over the amount of

your check to the American Red Cross. "If you come in and spend

$50, that 50 bucks goes to the Red Cross," says Frank Yuen,

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.

Top Of Page
Red Cross Counseling

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

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.

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