STEAG Exec urges ASEAN firms to adopt vision for resiliency

Jul 8, 2014

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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -The highest ranked executive of Mindanao’s biggest power plant has urged ASEAN companies to build up their resiliency to cope with natural and man-made disasters to assure the continuity and sustainability of their respective enterprises.

 

16th Mindanao PMAP Summit

 

“Business Continuity is more than just about recovering business functions from a disaster. It is ensuring that critical business functions continue promptly in the event of a disruption or disaster,” stressed Carsten Evers, power plant manager of STEAG State Power Inc. during the Personnel Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP) 16th Mindanao Summit recently hosted by Cagayan de Oro City. STEAG owns and operates Mindanao’s largest and most modern plant.

 

In his talk, “Business Continuity Management: Leadership in Crisis and Disaster Preparedness Response”, Dr. Evers shared his company’s recent crisis experience when the power plants two turbines were damaged in an industrial accident.

 

“As a leader, you must have a vision for crisis resolution. Without a clear and compelling vision for response and recovery, you will not be able to adequately lead your people during times of crises.”

 

SPI Plant Manager Dr. Carsten Evers leads other plant employees in an emergency drill as part of its on going efforts in practicing Business Continuity Management exercises. The BCM Program of SPI has been adopted to protect the business operation of the plant as well as its most valuable assets - its employees.

 

“Your people will be stressed out and deadlines time-compressed. Information will be inadequate and the high consequences of your responses could determine if people will be harmed, careers ruined and your company seriously damaged,” he added.

 

The BCM Institute defines BCM as “an organization-wide discipline and a complete set of processes that identifies potential impacts which threaten an organization. It provides a capability for an effective response that safeguards the interests of its major stakeholders and reputation.”

 

Dr. Evers cited the five guiding principles for managing a crisis and how STEAG closely observed them in dealing with its disaster: (1) Well-being of people first, with caring and compassion;  (2) Assume appropriate responsibility; (3) Address needs of all stakeholders in a timely manner; (4) All decisions and actions based on honesty and ethical guidelines; and, (5) Available, visible and open communication with all impacted parties.

 

According to research conducted by the Center for Risk Communications, demonstration of caring is more important than all other leadership traits combined.

 

“If you come across as uncaring, people will become outraged,” Dr. Evers said. “Caring during crisis response is not a feeling. Caring is a set of corporate and personal behaviour that elicit the perception in impacted stakeholders that you and your company truly care.”

 

The executive singled out the importance of two-way communication in clearly coming across with caring.

 

“Simply put, you will never be any better at responding to crisis than your communication. That involves how well you listen to obtain facts, and how well you speak openly to impacted stakeholders.”

 

He cited how all too often human communications fail during a crisis.

 

“Unclear goals, misunderstood instructions, poor delegation, incomplete feedback systems – lack of decision-making – these are the core communication failures within most crisis situations.” Dr. Evers stressed. “Leaders must therefore continually focus on crafting and sending clear, unambiguous communications with little or no error of misinterpretation by their supervisors, peers, subordinates, customers, community, or the media.”

 

He urged crisis managers to adopt specific, concise, and action-focused language to effectively connect with everyone impacted by the crisis.

 

 

“Experience and empirical research all seems to agree. It is best to prepare. Crisis leadership planning, training, table top exercise and simulations, they all play an important part in helping you become a crisis leader,” he concluded.

 

The summit was focused on the theme “Gearing Up for ASEAN Integration” which is scheduled to be implemented next year with the planned creation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

The AEC envisages the creation of a single market and production base, a highly competitive economic region, equitable economic development, and a region fully integrated into the global economy.

 

Human Resources Development and Capacity Building ranks high among the AEC areas of cooperation along with recognition of professional qualifications; closer coordination on macroeconomic and financial policies; trade financing; enhanced infrastructure and communications connectivity; development of electronic transactions through e-ASEAN; integrating industries across the region to promote regional sourcing; and enhancing private sector involvement for the building of the AEC.

 

The AEC aims to transform ASEAN into a region with free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labor, and freer flow of capital. ASEAN Leaders adopted the ASEAN Economic Blueprint during the 13th ASEAN Summit held 20 November 2007 in Singapore to serve as a master plan for the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community 2015.

 

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