02 February 2014

Future Risk: What is True...

On the dawn of the U.S. Super Bowl XLVIII, Operational Risk Management (ORM) professionals are on edge.  Readiness and contingencies are at their highest level in anticipation of a globally televised event.  The same crisis management environment exists four or more times a year within the confines of the Board Room and Executive suite.

Operating at the "Speed of Business" and effectively managing daily, weekly, and quarterly risk management tasks requires an adaptive and resilient culture.  A culture that has been born and evolved from its Genesis to a daily run rate based upon two main components.  Trust is the first one and to many a given in any high performing environment.  To be able to trust the person to your left and to your right requires many tests.  It builds over time yet it must start with the right elements and be nurtured for it to flourish.

The second component is far more complex.  It requires you to embark on a continuous discipline with yourself and the people to your left and right, to know "What is True."

"What is True" means one set of reality for you and perhaps something different for those around you.  Your mission is to get to a single version and reality of what is true faster than your competition, your adversary or your partner.  Survival will be a factor of your speed to understanding as a team, "What is True" and then your adaptive nature to the consequences of your actions.

Are you accountable for your outcomes?  Have you accepted the consequences of your behavior?  So what does all of this have to do with Operational Risk Management?  It has everything to do with it. The most high consequence event to any risk matrix, is the fact that people do not see themselves or others in a "True" perspective.  They are not operating in reality.

What is your willingness to bring current problems to everyone to dissect, understand and solve?  Those who continue to operate without a proactive problem-solving environment are headed towards disaster.  Surprises.  Being blind-sided.  Never saw it coming.  When you hear people saying these things.  You have someone who has not been proactive in the continuous identification of problems and communicating those problems to the team to be solved.

You see, leadership is about continuously testing, designing and improving the process or the product.  The thinkers and the doers, the blueprint and the construction, the designers and the operators must be in a synchronous harmony together.  The "Speed of Business" is the environment and the successful outcome we all seek and is captured in three words.  "What is True."

Ask yourself; how is this movie unfolding compared to the script that was written?  How has the change and the rate of change had consequences?  What have I and my team done to adapt, by changing the design or the people to achieve the mission?  Last fall, on the eve of September 11, Katherine Zimmerman outlined the problem for the United States:
The reality is that despite more than a decade of direct and indirect warfare against the group, al Qaeda continues to be a threat to the United States and its interests. The closure of more than 20 diplomatic posts across the Middle East and North Africa on August 4, 2013, underscores the group’s continued virulence and reach. AQAP, the affiliate from which that threat allegedly emanated, has spearheaded efforts to target the United States using innovative tactics. Its rise in the network was predictable in retrospect, yet America’s strategy did not adjust to effectively counter it. 
Understanding precisely which groups contribute to the al Qaeda network and how they operate within that network will better enable American policymakers and decision makers to develop a comprehensive strategy to defeat al Qaeda. Absent that understanding, the United States will continue to engage in a tactical battle that promises only occasional battleground victories, but no real prospect of winning the war.
"What is True."  As we approach the kick-off of the Super Bowl later today, or the lighting of the Olympic torch in Sochi, Russia the question remains.
(Reuters) - Bomb attacks of the kind that tore through mass transit sites in Russia ahead of the upcoming Sochi Olympics are a top concern of security officials preparing for Sunday's Super Bowl, the head of the New Jersey State Police said on Wednesday.
While law enforcement officials said they were not aware of any specific threats targeting the February 2 National Football League championship in East Rutherford, New Jersey, attacks like those that killed 34 people in two days in Russia late last year are their biggest worry. 
"Of particular concern to us is what was going on overseas in Volgograd in regard to the Sochi Olympics. As you know both of those bombings were targeting mass transit," Rick Fuentes, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, told reporters. "That is a concern with the mass transit; we've prepared ourselves for it."

Officials have sharply limited parking at MetLife Stadium, where Sunday's game will be played, and expect as many as 30,000 people to arrive by bus or rail. Security screening will start at train stations, where fans will not be able to board stadium-bound trains or buses without tickets to the game, officials said.

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