This morning, I had the great pleasure of sitting in a dentist’s chair for an hour having a tooth re-filled.  My dentist is a great guy, a client, and a golf partner, but I could think of a lot more exciting ways to spend my morning. As he was doing all the work in numbing my mouth and preparing me for his work, we chatted about my teeth. I mentioned that in over 40 years of my life, I had never had a broken tooth. Now in the past 2 and a half years, this was my third. I was hoping to chalk this up to my age, rather than a progressive problem that might jeopardize my teeth .

Gene chuckled and said it was pretty much about age. We do a lot of daily work with our teeth and over the course of time, a tooth breaking is a reality. This one he was working on today wasn’t going to go to a crown yet. We caught it very early and he was going to refill it with a very strong adhesive that would give it about 5 years more life before a crown was needed. He went on to say that proper care of teeth and gums wouldn’t get rid of all the issues that come with age and accident, but would over the course of your life set you up to have a healthy mouth full of your own teeth when you get old. My takeaway…taking care of your teeth by doing all the “not very fun” preventive work will ensure that you stay healthy and are able to deal effectively with crisis.

The same is true with your business or organization. You know that old saying about an ounce of prevention, right? The reason it’s an old saying is because it’s true!

Think of your business as your teeth. A lot of times, you only think about your teeth when they hurt or break. Many business owners only think about responding to crisis when the business hurts or breaks. By then, it’s too late and going to cost you a lot of pain and money.

Take preventative measures with your business. Consistently and regularly “brush and floss” by…

  1. Getting a second opinion on your insurance protection at least every other year.
  2. Performing an annual vulnerability analysis with your team to better understand what can hurt you.
  3. Practicing your team’s response to crisis through simulated exercises like Corporate War Games or Table Tops.
  4. Committing to implementing changes and monitoring them for success.
  5. Surrounding yourself with experts in risk management that will provide you with valuable recommendations, strategy, and insight that you don’t have internally.
  6. Fix your “hot spots” before you need a root canal!

Going to the dentist isn’t any fun (nothing personal Gene – I’d rather meet on the first tee). However, I go at least twice a year and take Gene’s advice on when to fix my “hot spots.” If as an executive or business owner, you don’t do the same thing with your business when it comes to risk and crisis management, you’re liable to be toothless. Let’s be honest – you face crisis every year. If you can be better prepared to respond you will save money; save time; improve morale; reduce your insurance premiums; enhance productivity; improve your peace of mind; and have a bigger smile on your face at the end.

Start today. It’s a pretty painless process. If you don’t know how or where to start, ask. Ignorance is no excuse. Your business continuation and the well-being of your employees, customers, and supply chain count on you.

And, don’t forget to floss!

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved.


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