Born in the Netherlands, but having traveled and worked across five continents, Rinske Geerlings is regarded by her peers, family, and friends as a true ‘global citizen’. She traversed half the world to Australia for the first time in 1996, to finalize her Master’s in Engineering degree, only to return briefly to her home country securing herself a consultancy role with the Sydney office of a global IT Management firm.
Now, 24 years later, Rinske is an internationally known, multi-award-winning consultant, speaker, and certified trainer in Business Continuity, Information Security, Crisis Management, Disaster Recovery, and broader Risk Management topics, with global experience gained during roles in Financial Services, Consulting, and Training across Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Africa, South America, and Europe. Her latest focus area is to develop practical Risk Appetite statements with Boards and Executives.
Her firm, Business As Usual, has successfully worked with prestigious clients, such as 15 Central Banks, the Australian Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, BBC Worldwide, Shell, Lonely Planet, Fuji Xerox, Government Departments of Defense/Immigration/Health/Industry/ Education, and hundreds of other mid-size and large organizations worldwide.
Rinske is known for changing the way organizations ‘plan for the unexpected’. Her facilitation skills enable organizations to achieve their own results and simplify their processes. She applies a fresh, energetic, practical, easy-to-apply, innovative approach to topics often perceived as dull and cumbersome.
Her true inspiration lies in facilitating clients’ own process improvements through interactive group programs and seminars, using engaging workshop techniques, whilst putting the ‘fun factor’ into the process. She loves working with multi-cultural groups and customizing their business processes to exactly match their needs.
Rinske is often sourced as a panel expert or speaker on resilience-related challenges and the implications for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), as well as large organizations. Her engaging presentations include topics such as “How to get buy-in for Risk Management and Security at all levels of the organization”, “How to develop continuity plans that don’t collect dust on the shelf,” and “How to run eye-opening disaster drills that keep everyone engaged”.
Rinske is certified in a variety of standards and frameworks, including ISO 22301 (Master), ISO 31000 (Lead Risk Manager), ISO/IEC 27001 (Information Security Master), ISO 22361 (Senior Lead Crisis Manager), ISO 22316, ISO/IEC 27032 (Lead Cybersecurity Manager), ISO 28000, ITIL (Master), CBCP, MBCI, and COBIT. She was awarded Risk Consultant of the Year (2017, RMIA), Outstanding Security Consultant of the Year (OSPAs Australia, 2019 Finalist) and Australian Women in Security Awards (2022 Finalist).
She was also the Australian Woman of the Year (2010-2013) by the global NGO Business and Professional Women, and the first female Delft University of Technology Alumnus of the Year in 2012 (The Netherlands).
Rinske played a leading role in the development of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) BCM standards (which affect banks, credit unions, superannuation funds, insurance companies, and other entities) through her role in the AllFinance Forum.
One of her main achievements is having successfully started and managed the globally operating consulting firm Business As Usual, with impressive growth over the past 17 years. When asking Rinske about her keys to success, she explains the following are top of the list:
- Understanding your own true values and priorities The ability to then ‘keep at it’ and not to let anyone steer you away from your path. Having role models and mentors along the way surely helps, but eventually, you will need to develop your own unique ways and find the commitment and confidence to do what feels right to you. One of her favorite gurus, Dr. John Demartini, said: “When the voice on the inside is starting to become more powerful than the noise and distractions from the outside, one can start mastering their life” and these words resonate strongly with Rinske.
- Understanding the true values and priorities of others The ability to translate those into what you can bring to the table – whether it be family members, clients, bosses, co-workers, or service providers. An example is, from every new freelance consultant who comes to work with my team, I ask what makes them spontaneously get up in the morning, what they absolutely love doing, and what does not require them to seek any external motivation. The answer then guides how we plan their days to meet the type of flexibility they need, and we look at how Business As Usual can support their greater cause in the long run. I believe most workplaces focus too much on desperately trying to ‘keep staff’, even if the person is actually ready to progress elsewhere. Paradoxically, if an employer can support the staff member beyond their current workplace, this often creates so much sense of belonging that the employee will try to find ways to actually stay, for example by designing a new role or helping the business to innovate and develop completely new services.
In 2012, I discovered PECB, which was 8 staff strong at the time. I immediately liked their ability and focus to go ‘above and beyond’ for customers and partners alike. I was looking for a way to offer certification in the context of the training courses and hands-on workshops that I have developed, and PECB was walking the same road as myself, concentrating on Risk Management, Business Continuity, and Information Security related topics.
Being able to offer professional ISO certification along with practical courses has been a real differentiator for Business As Usual.
Whilst most industry associations offer training and certification typically in just one of these areas, and often charge hefty annual membership fees, I really like PECB’s unique offering for Foundation certification that includes re-certification ‘free for life’.
This has been a game changer for my business – as has the partnership with PECB at other levels, such as global networking opportunities during their fabulous regional and global events and webinars. It is great to see how PECB has grown to a team of over 200 staff who work around the clock to be there for partners and candidates.