19 November 2004

OSAC 19th Annual Briefing...

The topics of the annual Overseas Security Advisory Council Briefings and 8th Annual Transnational Crime Seminar indicate what's on the minds of most CSO's across America and the globe. See if you can see the common thread:

"Managing Risks and Threats in Challenging Environments" - Bureau of Diplomatic Security

"From Suppliers to Satellites: Balancing Business and Security" - Delphi Corporation

"Coping with Istanbul" - HSBC Holdings, PLC

"Managing World Security Trends"

"Communicating with Employees under Heightened Threat Conditions"

"What do Employees Expect, What do They Need"

"Perception of Bio-security Dangers and the True Vulnerabilities"

"International Kidnapping and Hostage Taking"

"Emergency Preparedness and Business Continuity"

After two days of hearing presentations by some of the most informed individuals on the topics and issues of global security, one individual made a very interesting point:

On the topic of Practice Preparedness and Training Programs for employees he asked, "What do your people do in the event of [Pick a Diaster Scenario]?" The point is, you won't know what they do unless you exercise, drill and experiment with different scenarios. He went on to say that we need to be Leaders of Safety, Health and Operations and that the likes of SARS and Avian Flu will not be stopped by more guards, gates and guns.

Invisible contagious agents that are autonomous will be something we encounter on a mass scale sooner than we think. As professionals paid to worry, this is the one that we don't ever want to encounter and don't know much about how to mitigate the threat to our organizations.

Another vital topic on Abduction Prevention and Hostage Survival promoted the thinking about training to detect surveillance and to make rational and tactical decisions to prevent from being kidnapped. However, in the event of abduction, there are only four outcomes:

1. Negotiate
2. Rescue
3. Escape
4. Death

The point here is that you must maximize survivability and minimize exploitability. Finally, employees and organizations need to have a Personnel Recovery Architecture that includes a continuum for guideance and a crisis management framework.

Operational Risk and Continuity Management is what this 1.5 day briefing was all about. If there was one thing that stands out from all the presentations and the conversations is that our employees are looking for people they can "TRUST". It's our duty to make sure that we do everything in our power to make this a reality.

Perception drives Attitude that drives Behavior.

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