19 June 2006

The One Percent Doctrine: Prepared When Things Go Wrong...

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued findings Friday, June 16, from a national operational risk assessment of the country’s catastrophic planning capabilities on Nationwide Catastrophic Event Preparedness. Responding to directives from President Bush and the Congress, following Hurricane Katrina, the Nationwide Plan Review looked at whether existing emergency operations plans for states and urban areas are sufficient for managing a catastrophic event. The Review also presents conclusions on actions needed by the federal government to improve and coordinate planning. Conducted in all 56 States and territories and 75 urban areas over six months, the Nationwide Plan Review was the most comprehensive assessment of emergency operations plans to date relative to planning for a catastrophic event. Reviewers examined nearly 2,800 emergency operations plans and related documents with participation from more than 1,000 emergency managers and homeland security officials. The National Plan Review findings demonstrate the need for all levels of government across the country to improve emergency operations plans for catastrophic events such as a major terrorist attack or category−five hurricane strike. After completing the assessments and findings, the reviewers also provided more detailed follow−up briefings to individual States and urban areas.

In David Suskind's new book The One Percent Doctrine we are reminded that the fact remains that planners need to continue to focus on the 1%. See the synopsis of his book:

Relying on unique access to former and current government officials, this book will reveal for the first time how the U.S. government - from President Bush on down - is frantically improvising to fight a new kind of war. Where is the enemy? What have been the real victories and defeats since September 11? How are we actually fighting this war and how can it possibly be won?

Little, in fact, has been revealed about the nature of this struggle and the methods being used. This book will change all that. Readers will, for the first time, see harrowing close calls in America where thousands of lives have been saved - and learn how terrorists have artfully adapted to America's early successes in capturing al Qaeda operatives.

Suskind will show readers what he calls "the invisible battlefield" - a global matrix where U.S. spies race to catch soldiers of jihad before they strike. It is a real life spy thriller with the world's future at stake.

Suskind's report is filled with astonishing disclosures and will profoundly reframe the debate about a war that, each day, redefines America and its place in the world.

Do you think you're spending too much time with your team planning and training? You haven't. Success in your organization doesn't happen because everything goes according to the plan. It happens because you were prepared when things go wrong. The organizations whose team has planned for every possible scenario and trained together in live simulations will become the most successful. Their missions will be accomplished on time and within budget.

Incidents of different severity and frequency are happening around you and your organization every day. Would your employees know what an incident looks like let alone know what to do next to mitigate the risk to them and the organization?

Even if Mr. Suskind's new book is critical of the US Government, the combination of the DHS findings and looking in our own corporate mirror of preparedness should be enough to get most executives rethinking their resource allocations for the current and future budget for planning, rehearsing and exercising for catastrophic events.

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