26 June 2006

More Aspirational than Operational...

One day we could be asking ourselves about the insight gained from understanding aspiration, and then acting upon it. In the context of effective Operational Risk Management, understanding and detecting people's aspirations are critical to the safety and security of your business.

We should be thanking Robert S. Mueller, III and his team for preemption of what could be just one of many unknown operational plans by domestic terrorists. Here are a few words from his speech at the City Club of Cleveland June 23rd:

It has been nearly five years since the last terrorist attack on America. Yet there is no room for complacency. As we have seen in recent months, our enemies are adaptive and evasive. They are taking full advantage of technology. They are combining their resources and their expertise to great effect. We must do the same.

Our greatest weapon against terrorism is unity. That unity is built on information sharing and coordination among our partners in the law enforcement and the intelligence communities. It is built on partnerships with the private sector and effective outreach to the public as our eyes and ears. It is built on the idea that, together, we are smarter and stronger than we are standing alone.

No one person, no one agency, no one police department, and no one country has all the answers. We may not always know where and when terrorists will attempt to strike. But we do know they will try again. And we must combine our intelligence, our technology, and our resources to stop them.

We face many challenges today, both from overseas and from those living in our midst. But we must not let terrorism change our way of life.

Being vigilant is not enough these days. You also need courage and lot's of it. The courage to have unity. Organizations are doing just that and many are not waiting to find out if the FBI can preempt every possible plot to harm our economic way of life. Yet, they are doing it in collaboration and in cooperation with people they know and trust. People they can count on to preserve and protect our corporate assets. Organizations such as WashingtonDCFirst is just one example of how the private sector is working along side the public sector to increase the resiliency of our Critical Infrastructure. And the emphasis is on resiliency because everyone has finally concluded that "protection" in itself is a zero sum game.

People who aspire to be known for their criminal or terrorist act will continue to achieve their goal some of the time. Whether it is the lone homegrown variety or the organized and well funded class, we must remember that preemption in their aspirational phase is preferred over recovery in the operational phase. It is safe to say that regardless of the amount of money and manpower being applied to the security of the Sears Tower, it will never be enough. Bob Mueller is right. All we need is more "Unity".

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