Bandler's Fourth Platform to Connect

Incorporating business needs into the Three Platforms compliance and management concept
by John Bandler

Bandler's Fourth Platform, with the prior Three Platforms to connect, helps organizations manage themselves effectively and efficiently, including with their  information assets. Information assets include computer devices, data, networks, and more. My Three Platforms to Connect concept visualizes how legal requirements, internal policy, and organization practice should align and is compliance oriented. Now we introduce the Fourth Platform to our concept to ensure organization mission and business are included in our conceptual diagram.

Recapping Bandler's Three Platforms to Connect

The three areas to consider for compliance analysis are:

Bandlers Three Platforms to Connect simple

  • Laws and regulations (external rules)
  • Policies, procedures, and other internal rules
  • Practice, action, or what is actually done.

I examine each of these platforms in more detail in my Three Platforms article, which acknowledging that business needs and mission come first.

The Fourth Platform: Business needs and mission

As I emphasize in my Three Platform's article, businesses have a mission, which may include one or more of the following:

  • Do good and help individuals and society, provide a necessary service or product
  • Earn revenue and business (which pays employee salaries, rewards business owners and shareholders, etc.)
  • Obtain donations or grants
  • Survive, thrive, and grow.

This mission is similar to "business needs" and should be a part of our diagram.

Bandlers Four Platforms to Connect (inline)

First I will show them inline. Lined up, like a squad of soldiers in formation, or baseball players on the foul line for the national anthem.

Putting them in a line is a start but can be improved

But a line doesn't fully capture it. There are actually two paths with arguably competing interests, and organizations need to try align them.

Put another way, different people in an organization may have varying priorities. Although organizations with a culture of compliance and knowledge of external requirements are generally better managed and well-suited for long term success, sometimes it takes time to get everyone onto that same page. One person or department may be focused on laws and compliance, another focused on earning revenue.

Bandler's Four Platforms to Connect (L-shape)

So let's show these four pillars in more of an L-shape, and recognizing that external rules and business needs can sometimes seem at odds.

Let's also recognize the limitations of my drawing skills and time, perspective and labeling, and PowerPoint. There's still room for improvement.

Let's try a top view

Bandler's Four Platforms to Connect (L-shape - Top view)

The limits of my graphic arts capabilities are clear, so let's switch to a top view.

We've got the same four platforms arranged in a "T" shape, we just changed our view point.

Now let's show the compliance and business lines of priority

And now let's draw in some lines. One line is the "compliance line" and showing how external rules, internal rules, and practice need to align. That's the Three Platforms from my other article.

The other line is the "business needs" line, and how that, internal rules, and practice need to align.

Some employees may focus on the compliance line, such as the general counsel, compliance officer, privacy officer, chief information security officer, and more.

Bandler's Four Platforms to Connect (L-shape - Top view with lines)

Some employees may focus on the business needs line, such as those whose duties require creating and delivering products and services, and earning revenue or obtaining grants.

Organizations looking to long term success work to satisfy both lines and align all four platforms. Long term survival and growth requires compliance with laws and protecting assets.

As we can see, the internal rules are right in the middle of all of this. Internal rules tell employees what do do and how the business should run, and that's important for both business needs and compliance with external rules. So we will discuss internal rules in more detail in another article.

Conclusion

Businesses need to build internal rules and practices that align with business needs and external rules. My Four Platforms to Connect concept builds on the Three Platforms and provides a helpful way for organizations to visualize compliance and management, which also helps with good overall governance and efficiency. As always, we need to incorporate business needs, because organizations need to successfully perform their mission. Building good internal rules is a process, which starts with planning, as I discuss here.

This article is (of course) not tailored to your circumstances, nor is it legal or consulting advice.

If your organization needs help with improving its internal documentation and compliance with external rules, including regarding cybersecurity and protecting from cybercrime, let me know.

Additional reading

This article is hosted at https://johnbandler.com/bandlers-fourth-platform-to-connect, copyright John Bandler, all rights reserved.

This article builds upon my "Three Platforms to Connect" concept from my 2020 article: Policies, Procedures, and Governance of an Organization.

This article is also available on Medium.com at NOT YET (though not kept as up to date).

Originally posted 5/15/2022, updated 6/25/2022.