Business Continuity Tip of the Month

Idiot proof

It’s said that Napoleon used to have on his staff an “idiot” – a low ranking soldier of even lower intellect!

When putting together his battle plans, before presenting them to his generals Napoleon would present them to his idiot and ask him to explain what they meant. If the idiot couldn’t understand them, Napoleon would revise and simplify the plans before presenting them to the intended audience. The theory was that if the idiot could understand the plans then his generals ought to be able to.

Whilst in these politically correct times it’s probably not wise to use the term “idiot”, why not take a leaf out of Napoleon’s book and get someone less experienced, less technical or more junior to review your various business continuity plans and give you some feedback prior to issuing the final versions. This will almost certainly result in improvements to the plans in terms of clarity, simplicity and usability. In other words, it’ll help you, just as it helped Napoleon, to make them “idiot-proof”.