16 March 2014

Private Sector Mentoring: Operational Risk Specialists to the Rescue...

The international spectrum of Operational Risk Management (ORM) is playing out before us on a global stage.  A missing Malaysia Airlines 777 for over 7 days is now considered a deliberate act of human behavior, not an accident. Nation states and the airline industry are in full crisis management collaboration.  What will happen when it is found, or detected flying on a new route?

A U.S. government agency, in the Department of Commerce (NTIA), is transitioning control of the Internet's Domain Name System root zone file to ICANN (Think United Nations of the Internet). Is this international fallout, from greater transparency of U.S. Intelligence operations, by the National Security Agency (NSA)?  Probably not.

And while all of this, is distracting our attention, the operational risks associated with volatility on a financial world stage continues to unfold:
International use of the yuan is increasing as China opens up its capital markets. A third of China’s trade will be settled in yuan by 2015 and the currency will be fully convertible within five years, HSBC forecast in a report last year. The yuan surpassed the euro as the world’s second most-popular currency in trade finance in 2013.
What will the future hold for global business commerce and the emerging regions of conflict?  Syria.  Ukraine.  Russia.  Iraq.  Afghanistan.
KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – In his final address to Afghanistan's parliament Saturday, President Hamid Karzai told the United States its soldiers can leave at the end of the year because his military, which already protects 93 percent of the country, was ready to take over entirely.
So where are the opportunities for U.S. Veterans as they return to the Homeland?  As the military goes through it's next phase of optimization, reengineering and total quality management, 1.5 million service members will be transitioning to the private sector in the next five years.

This is where our next generation of "Operational Risk Specialists" will come from, to assist us in our most challenging future of global incidents, crisis and humanitarian requirements.

Yet these million men and women will be competing in an economy that is ultra-competitive.  There are however, innovative ways for us to hedge the risks for U.S. veterans as they look for their next mission in the private sector.  The first step is an old and very effective method called mentoring.


  [men-tawr, -ter]  Show IPA
a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.
an influential senior sponsor or supporter.
verb (used without object)
to act as a mentor: She spent years mentoring to junior employees.
verb (used with object)
to act as a mentor to
1740–50;  after Mentor (< Greek Méntōr )

men·tor·ship, noun

1. adviser, master, guide, preceptor.

It would be in the best interest of the private sector in a world that is challenged by so much change, volatility and uncertainty to have a cadre of "Operational Risk Specialists" who are there at a moments notice.  Working 24 x 7 in concert with all critical business functions, to enhance the resilience of the enterprise.  Yet it will take thousands of mentors to assist these veterans, as they transition to this important role and mission.

Are you a CxO that relies now on a small team of risk minded people, tasked with your supply chain, personnel security, information security, facilities or even insider incidents?  You are the perfect catalyst to get a new program going at your organization.  Begin the process of identifying and tasking the right people in your organization, to be mentors for the new "Operational Risk Specialists," that you should hire over the next few years.

What would happen, if you created a whole new way for you to mentor, hire, mentor, train, mentor and grow, a new generation of risk management professionals for your organization?  How could the performance and the resiliency of your enterprise improve, with the ongoing mentoring of veterans as they begin to understand the business of the private sector.  A different and yet similar environment for the management of operational risks.

Your vision should be to create a "VetAccelerator" for each of your organizational business units.  To engage mentors with new veterans returning and transitioning from over a decade of war.  We have done this before in our U.S. history and it will not be the last.  Let all of us embrace the opportunity to strengthen our business engine and to improve our resilience in the new world order.

Finally, never forget how all of this latest chapter started.  And how it still continues to play out on a daily basis.  Our vigilance is an imperative and veterans will be our "Operational Risk Specialists" for years to come.

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