26 May Partner Profile: Kenny Seow
- How do you describe what you do when meeting new people?
Once when I told someone that I worked in the field of “business continuity and recovery”, he thought I was a debt collector. I have found that the most effective way of communicating what I do is to share with people recent news stories of major incidents, and how disruptions caused by these incidents impacted people, organisations and communities. I then explain that I help people and organisations to plan, prepare and respond to the unexpected.
- How did you find yourself in this line of work?
By accident, not by choice! Early in my career, I was designing and implementing information systems. My manager “volunteered” me to take over an IT disaster recovery assignment when the project manager left suddenly. It was a steep learning curve but the subject fascinated me. 3 years later, I travelled to the US to sit for the Disaster Recovery Institute professional certification exam, and have never looked back since.
- Who is your professional role model, and why?
Many people have influenced my thinking, values and attitudes to work, not least a young 28 year-old manager, Richard Duvall (late), who I reported to early in my career. Not only was he responsible for planting the seeds for what was to become my life-long career in business continuity today, but he taught me about self-confidence, leading from the front, and believing in others.
- What is the project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career?
Making the change from being an employee to an independent consultant was probably the most significant. However, I’ve had the good fortune to work with a fantastic team of colleagues in my last job to build the business continuity capabilities of the organisation from the ground up across 16 countries in the region. This is the most satisfying aspect of my career.
- How would you explain ‘being risk averse’ to someone?
Nothing ventured, nothing gained. When my dad was 87, my sister asked his doctor if it was ok for my dad to travel overseas for his grandson’s graduation. She was afraid that he may not be able to cope and did not want to risk it. The doctor asked my sister, “Do you think it is better for your dad to sit at home and wait to die, or for him to travel to see his grandson whilst he still can?” Case closed – he went on the trip… and survived.