This new nation state on the block is turning 235 years old tomorrow, July 4th, 2011. The United States of America will be celebrating another birthday and the Republic will reflect on what we have learned, so far.
"Rule of Law" is an ever so powerful component of a democratic way of life and is the envy of so many nations who still seek its most true form. Operational Risk Management permeates the essence of the laws and rights of U.S. citizens in the work place, companies and organizations in global commerce and the government who provides oversight on all of it.
The balance of power between individual citizens and the government responsible for the protection of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is always in flux. Yet in the end, "The Union" has endured some of the most significant "Operational Risks" and disruptions one can imagine.
It is the analysis of "The Union" and the incredible resilience of all the moving parts that make the United States what it is today. Weathering the storms of mother nature by hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes and droughts to the economic threats of depression, mortgage or Wall Street implosion has not put a dent in "The Union's" ability to bounce back. Withstanding the challenges to our Constitution and the rights proclaimed to each and every citizen, has only made us stronger. What cases to the Supreme Court have changed our future?
When you look at your own organization and examine the components of your people, processes, systems and potential external events, does it have what it takes to endure 235 years? Certainly there are risks that exist today that are prevalent in the eyes of shareholders, Board Members and even executive management. The question really is "What are you doing about it?" This in itself, could be the biggest threat to the United States and your own organization. Complacency.
com·pla·cen·cy[kuhm-pley-suhn-see] Show IPAnoun, plural -cies.1.a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation, condition, etc.2.Archaic .a.friendly civility; inclination to please; complaisance.b.a civil act.
It is the perception of the quiet pleasure or security of your organization or your own country, that may very well be the greatest threat to it's existence. Ignoring the cues and clues to the deterioration of the balance of power, the rule of law and the economic engine necessary to sustain the necessities of life, such as food, water and cash flow may be the reason for your demise.
Your own business resilience will continue to be a factor of the correct mixture of the ingredients that sustain and organically grow the enterprise. Those who try to grow to quickly without regard to quality will in many cases fail. Those who let the power base become significantly imbalanced, so too will find the ability to endure a tremendous hardship. Those who ignore the constant requirement for monitoring and governance will suffer the realities of human factors. Motivations that are often defined as greed, jealousy and hate, soon will emerge.
Relationships remain vital to our family unit, the neighborhood we live in and the cities, counties and states that oversee our way of life. It is those same relationships within our business and government ecosystems, that will determine whether they perpetuate your healthy growth, or its inevitable deterioration.
Those same family units, neighborhoods, and government jurisdictions have the power and the ability to avoid complacency and mitigate the Operational Risks that will be present in each. Look around the country of the United States or the nations of the world and you will see who has been complacent, and who has been the most effective in OPS Risk Management.
Happy Birthday Uncle Sam!