16 June 2012

London: Olympic Games Risk Management...

As the summer approaches the world is gearing up for the 2012 Olympic Games in London in about 41 days.  The athletes are making their respective rounds on television and other media to discuss their thoughts.  The U.K. Home Office is on high alert and has been preparing the "Operational Risk Strategy Execution" for years.

The private sector is finalizing plans for the millions of dollars in advertising and promotions on television.  The rest of the world will be watching from their easy chairs in Kansas City USA, the mountain villages of Switzerland, the outback of Australia to the most remote locations in the Sahel.

Every two years the humanity of the Olympic Games comes alive and we all realize that it is possible to get along, to cooperate and to coordinate.  For the historical and cultural reasons the world comes together to compete.  And in every venue and each sport the rules change.  The distance, the accuracy, the time.  They are all measured and the rule-sets have been determined in advance.  The competitor knows and understands the measures by which they will be judged.  In the swimming pool, on the track  mat or field or in front of the target.

The collaboration across the planet somehow brings us all to the point of a temporary "Time Out."  Where it almost seems calm and peaceful for those days and weeks.  A time when humanity can say to themselves that it really is possible to all get along.  A time to show ourselves what really is possible if we have the will and the heart to make it all happen, on time and without incident.

The social media buzz on a daily basis will be coming live from millions of Twitter and Blog posts.  The use of Crowdmap will be utilized to assist in the event of a crisis.  The mobile device will continue to be a valuable way for the authorities to have continuous opportunity for situational awareness.  Applications from companies such as RealityMobile provide real-time streaming video from any camera enabled PDA device.  All of the communications equipment to collect, view and analyze information will remain a part of the layered defense in depth to deter, detect and prevent an adverse incident.  The London Olympics in 2012 will have the same challenges and the identical set of risks as Beijing or Greece in 2008 or 2004.  What is different this time?

This summer 2012 Olympic Games may be one of the most technology enabled risk management projects ever.  At the same time, the social scientists have been working on the analysis of the organizational risk facets of such a gathering in London.  Human factors and social demographics of the people attending have a major consideration in operational risk management planning:

"It is necessary for most of us these days to have some insight into the motives and responses of the true believer. For though ours is a godless age, it is the very opposite of irreligious. The true believer is everywhere on the march, and both by converting and antagonizing he is shaping the world in his own image. And whether we are to line up with him or against him, it is well that we should know all we can concerning his nature and potentialities."
Hoffer, Eric (2011-05-10). The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements (Perennial Classics) . Harper Collins, Inc..

The 1951 classic by Eric Hoffer is already Operational Risk reading 101 and the modern day Arab Spring is a perfect example of what messages Hoffer has reminded us to consider over 60 years later.  Yet those who continue to study the social science of mass movements, realize that our greatest risk mitigation tool will continue to be one of the least technical and most effective.  Education and Awareness.

We encourage all of our Operational Risk professionals to educate and increase the awareness of your employees and friends and family who will be attending the London Olympic Games 2012:

Official London 2012 Join In App

In the summer of 2012 London and the UK will come alive with events, celebrations and activities during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Official London 2012 Join In app is a mobile guide to help you plan, enjoy and share your Games experience.
This free app is an essential planning tool for everyone, whether you have tickets for a sporting event or not. From the start of the Olympic Torch Relay to the Olympics and Paralympics, the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, plus all the cultural, city and community celebrations happening across the UK, Join In is your essential companion.

Official London 2012 Results App

The Official London 2012 Results app provides all the latest news, schedules and results, allowing users to keep up-to-date with the latest action live across all Olympic sports and Paralympic sports.
Key features include results, live updates, calendar schedule, details of sports, medal tables and athlete profiles. Users can also follow specific countries, receiving official news and updates tailored to them all in one app.
It’s the essential app for all sports fans to share the excitement of London 2012!

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