David Brooks

David Brooks – Founder & Managing Director of DHB Consulting

Always alert to the potential for change, David Brooks uses his expertise to help other companies.

What’s your story?

A consultant with significant financial services experience developing and implementing comprehensive business improvement solutions. Thought leadership skills gained by experience and through coaching leadership training and development programs. Consulting experience includes researching, analyzing, and identifying gaps in business processes and offerings. Logical and organized for generating ideas, procedures, policies, transition, and recovery plans. Clearly outline, from an objective perspective, recommended solution options and improvement plans to reach goals and align with organizational policies. During COVID it became clear that most organizations had been caught unprepared. This led me to get ISO certified in BSMS, and then to business resilience planning.

What excites you most about your industry?

The opportunity to contribute to the continuing success of an organization allowing it to grow and thrive. Business Continuity Management and resilience planning is a proactive process identifying potential risks to the ongoing operation of an organization and preparing strategies and plans to mitigate and/or recover from them. Identifying risks often creates opportunities to improve and even expand. It also includes examining evolving environmental, social and governance considerations providing organizations with the ability to incorporate these into its strategic planning process.

David in Cafe

What drives you in your career to push beyond what other people consider normal?

Evolution and curiosity. In a world where yesterday’s innovative idea is today’s ancient history, you have to keep up with the times in order to stay relevant and useful. The “this is the way we’ve always done it” approach to business is a one-way ticket to oblivion. Learning and adapting are keys to ongoing success. The most recent example of this is the increasing buzz around artificial intelligence (AI). How are organizations going to incorporate it into their daily operations? How are they going to defend their operations from attacks from hackers? A new dimension in resilience planning.

What have been the most useful skills you have learnt and applied in your journey?

Communication: the ability to understand and be understood by all parts of an organization at all levels using the language that is relevant to each. To gain alignment at all levels to reach goals consistent with organizational policies.

Curiosity and adaptability: exploring new/alternate ideas which may lead to innovative solutions or opportunities that were not previously considered.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?

Be curious. Never assume you know everything there is to know about a given subject. Seek out subject matter experts and learn from them.

To be able to change your perspective to see things differently. This I learned from watching Groucho Marx – he could look at a situation and change perspectives until he found one that he could make a joke out of. While I don’t (always) use it this way it has become invaluable dealing with groups of people, allowing me to see things from their different perspectives and to be able to communicate that I understand each.

Who inspires you?

For life lessons, my father. My grandfather died when my father was 19, leaving him with his mother and 3 younger siblings to support. He did what he had to do for them to be successful, and later us, and still managed a career that saw him retire as the Canadian sales director for a large multinational corporation. Perseverance, flexibility, and adaptability are what I learned from him.

Workwise, there have been several people I have worked with that found ways to bring out the best in me. That inspires me to work to do the same for others.

What have you learnt recently that blew you away?

The astonishing emergence of artificial intelligence. 20 years ago I worked with someone who has a PhD in AI on a project that had nothing to do with AI. Then, really, nothing until the last several months when AI has been all over the news and the internet. It seems that the possibilities are endless for what may be accomplished using the technology. The possibility for misuse also exists. Organizations are going to have to look at how to defend themselves against AI cyber attacks and how to recover from them should it ever happen.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?

If I knew what I know now, invest in tech stocks when they were just startups. I would avoid making the mistakes I made along the way and push myself harder to explore possibilities in areas I was interested in to see if my career could have gone in a different direction or gone in the same direction more quickly. Of course, doing things differently would mean that I probably wouldn’t have the life I have now, so I don’t want to spend a lot of time dwelling on it.

How do you unwind?

Dog walking, 2 or 3 long walks a day. Reading books that have nothing to do with work. Occasionally binge watching something on Netflix or Prime. Cooking – you can’t be thinking about work when you cook or you never know what you might wind up serving.

Everyone in business should read this book:

“Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World” by Admiral William H. McRaven. Life lessons from a retired Commander, United States Special Operations Command starting with making your bed every morning. That simple act provides you with your first accomplishment of the day giving you momentum for the rest of the day.

David in Sedona

Shameless plug for your business or career:

Don’t have a business continuity/resilience plan? Haven’t reviewed or updated your plan in over a year? It won’t take another pandemic to upset your “business as usual” approach.

Work toward the best result; plan for the worst.

I can help you prepare for threats to your organization.

How can people connect with you?

You can get in touch with me at dhbcons@pm.me

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This interview is part of the CallumConnects series.

About The EnterpriseZone Writing Team

Shining A Light on the Small Business World and highlighting Entrepreneurial Investing Opportunities.

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