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Being in the business of risk management, I think a lot about contingency plans. I spend a lot of time thinking about the unthinkable.

A common scenario for me to raise is where I ask the question “What happens if [insert-irreplaceable-employee-name] gets run over by a bus?” Recently, I got to experience all of the fun that I normally foist upon my clients by considering the question myself.

In a break from all of this gloomy consideration, I talked about how strange it is to consider such things to a colleague. He also had been giving consideration to the same issue. The question of whether thinking about these kinds of things is really the best use of our time came up—it always does. (Who really wants to pay people to think about how to do things that they hope no one would ever try?)

After looking at all of the different places where the getting-run-over-by-a-bus scenario applies and thinking about the best way to apply our resources, we realized that we were solving the wrong problem. The issue isn't how organizations should prevent themselves from being unduly affected by a key employee being run over by a bus. The issue is where do we find this maniacal bus driver and how do we stop him?

Created by cmcurtin
Last modified 2007-12-09 06:21 PM

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