While writing this month’s cover story on the disaster recovery efforts of two companies hit by the recent Alabama tornadoes, I was reminded of a quote from the former CEO of Wal-Mart, Harold Lee Scott, Jr.:
“Sustainability is the single biggest business opportunity of the 21st century, and will be the next source of competitive advantage.”
Not long after Scott took over as CEO of the world’s largest retailer in 2000, the company became a magnet for bad publicity over its corporate policies and the impact it had on the environment. Instead of pushing back against change, Wal-Mart saw an opportunity to innovate. Soon after, the sustainability index was born, along with packaging scorecards and supplier questionnaires designed to combat criticism and improve the company’s deteriorating image (reducing its carbon footprint was a nice side effect).
Regions Financial Corporation conveyed a similar attitude when I spoke with the company for this month’s cover story (page 4). Business continuity at Regions is a component of customer service — a tool that can be used to gain a competitive advantage and not simply a set of plans that is pulled out when disaster strikes.
This more proactive approach to business continuity is a theme that regularly pops up in interviews, conference sessions and webinars. Whether it’s embracing new technology, improving supply chain resilience or planning for positive risks, I hope the stories out of northern Alabama inspire you to look at how business continuity tools can be used to add value to the products and/or services you deliver.
As this is the first digital issue of Continuity Insights, I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the navigation tools as there are a number of ways to browse the content. Arrows in the navigation bar directly above the page allow you to “flip” back and forth through the pages. Clicking the top corner of a page will also move you to the next/previous page. Alternatively, you can click a hyperlinked headline to go directly to a story.
For those who missed the announcement, Continuity Insights will now reach your inbox every month. By doubling the frequency and supplementing the content with video and audio, we hope to fulfill one of our preliminary goals to deliver more best-in-class business continuity content. Like Wal-Mart, we’re embracing the opportunity to innovate, and I hope you enjoy reading the new digital magazine.