30 December 2018

Year 2019: Accelerating Towards Resilience...

The year 2019 is upon us and your time for reflection on the past year should provide new insights.

As you review all the major events and milestones of your life in 2018, focus on what you have learned.  Write down at least three areas of your life that will improve or be better, as a result of some new insights or lessons, that are being applied from your past 12 months.

Consider the application of a new online tool or process, to improve your daily tasks such as a simple calendar or even Trello.  Perhaps you even found a new routine to help you get a better nights sleep, so you feel rested and more effective in your role or specialty each day.

How might you change the way you approach your relationship building, with the use of a more transparent and direct communication style?

Launching into 2019 is a daunting challenge and yet so multidimensional from an "Operational Risk" perspective.  Here is a quick review:
Operational risk is defined as the risk of loss resulting from inadequate or failed processes, people, and systems or from external events. These risks are further defined as follows:

Process risk – breakdown in established processes, failure to follow processes or inadequate process mapping within business lines.

People risk – management failure, organizational structure or other human failures, which may be exacerbated by poor training, inadequate controls, poor staffing resources, or other factors.

Systems risk – disruption and outright system failures in both internal and outsourced operations.

External event risk – natural disasters, terrorism, and vandalism.

The definition includes
Legal risk, which is the risk of loss resulting from failure to comply with laws as well as prudent ethical standards and contractual obligations. It also includes the exposure to litigation from all aspects of an institution’s activities.
Now with Operational Risk in mind, begin your journey map for 2019.  Left to right on a 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper, start sketching out your timeline.  Draw some square bubbles of major work or life tasks that you will be involved with or places that you will be traveling to across the globe.

In advance of these square bubbles of activity, what needs to be accomplished in general, that you need to do or prepare for, to help insure the success or minimize the risk of a potential failure?  Draw some small circle bubbles around those squares in advance, to give you a more visual perspective of the "Operational Risk" areas that should be considered.

Maybe you are embarking on a new career or major work project.  Maybe you will be traveling overseas to new countries.  Maybe you will be creating a new business unit or product.  Maybe you will be growing your social network.  Maybe you have a son or daughter getting married.  Maybe you have a loved one who is now transitioning to an "Assisted Living" facility or moving in with you for care.

Now that you are looking at your sketch, it is time to embark on your upcoming Operational Risk missions.  There is always time that can be devoted to your advance work.  Your preparation.  Your "What if" scenario thinking.

"What if" you asked your team, your group, your family, your company to devote just a few more hours this year to Operational Risk Management (ORM)?  How might your fellow workers, team mates or family members benefit from fewer Surprises,  Unknowns,  Significant Disruptions, even  Outliers?  How might this bring all of you greater confidence?

You see, 2019 and beyond will be even more challenging and multifaceted.  Our world is accelerating.  We have grown less patient with rapid change itself.  The chaos you feel and the anxiety that our human emotions are experiencing, is simply a factor of our readiness.  Our ability to adapt and to pivot just at the right moment.  Accelerating us towards greater Resilience...

23 December 2018

Christmas 2018: What Do You Believe...

In a day or so, you will be communicating with or traveling towards your loved ones, your family.

We celebrate Christmas across the globe and billions of people give our time and our resources to those who are in need.  Why?
"She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." - Matthew 1:21
When you think about life and the journey it takes you on, there are so many "What if's" that could have made it so different.  Your history and the decisions that your family made and that you have made in life, is all before you.

Starting with "What do you believe"?

Flash back in your life to your first ten years.  Where were you?  What did you and your family do around Christmas?  Are you still doing some or all of those same activities and do you have the same beliefs?

As you touch those you wish to share time with this Christmas, think back to where your journey started.  What have you accomplished since then?  How many others are you with now, to celebrate?

All of us have been born with the ability to believe.  The choices you have made in life so far and the choices ahead, will navigate your particular path in life.

Those decisions, may not have been the right ones at the time.  Perhaps human emotion overwhelmed you at the moment and now you wish you could reverse it and go back in time.

You can't alter history and the "Trust Decisions" you have already made in your life so far.  Yet you can be forgiven.  Asking for forgiveness is possible for everyone.  You can be saved from your sins and your own behavior, just by believing.

Are you a Daughter or Son?  A Sister or Brother? A Wife or Husband?  A Mother or Father?  A Cousin?  A best friend or colleague?

And for all of those "Who Serve" and are too many miles away from your loved ones right now, we are thinking of you and praying for your safe return.  You know who you are.

You most likely have someone else you care about and who you can pray for or with, this Christmas season.  Take a few minutes now, and do this...

16 December 2018

Organizational Pulse: Digital Teams Building Trust...

"We needed to enable a team operating in an interdependent environment to understand the butterfly-effect ramifications of their work and make them aware of the other teams with whom they would have to cooperate in order to achieve strategic--not just tactical--success."  --Stanley McChrystal, Team of Teams-New Rules of Engagement For A Complex World

Does this sound familiar?  Your organization has been becoming more decentralized for decades.  You have key executives and teams working and operating from places you never imagined.  This is why learning from others who have been there before might be a wise exercise.

General Stan McChrystal (U.S. Army, Retired) and his collaborators know a thing or two about the challenges of teams, operating towards a single mission in multiple geographic locations, including the cultural realities operating from an ultra-competitive management network.

Think for a moment about your own organizational design and how it has evolved over the course of your growth.   Why does it look that way, when you stare at the latest version of the "Organizational Chart"?

Now this chart may very well be a factor of your age, especially if you are an organization that had substantial growth prior to the year 2000.  Yet if you have been building a company or your own "Team-of-Teams" in the last decade, your abilities and organizational design will be a factor of the digital era.

If you had the opportunity to start from scratch, in 2019, how would you build your company so that you could achieve Digital Trust? What platforms, tools and applications would you standardize your future growth on? How will you insure that as you scale up and grow the organization, that the complex interdependencies will be able to sustain the velocity?
"Building for digital trust must become a priority of the nation-state and its components. Once ubiquitous computing is achieved, digital trust will become the competitive differential within the global space of the Net. Nation-states that position their regulatory rules to enable private sector companies to build digital trust more effectively will generate genuine advantage for both the public and private sector. But nation-states must also invest in building digital trust in their own infrastructures and services."  --Jeffrey Ritter
 So what?
If true, that "digital trust will become the competitive differential within the global space of the Net" then how will you proceed?  Have you already answered "What is your "Why"?

The Information Technology (IT) choices are vast and the operating standards for privacy, security and architecture are already published.  Your greatest challenge ahead still remains in front you.

The "Leadership of Security Risk Professionals" (LSRP) is more than just raising awareness, utilizing trusted digital methods and testing operational processes.  It is about "Organizational Pulse" and "Asking," "Listening" and the time to "Verify/Clarify."  Guess what General Stan McChrystal understood about building a successful "Team of Teams"?

Operating day-to-day in crisis and chaos requires something new.  Something different.  A "Crisis Communications" dialogue, that has achieved digital trust.  A shared consciousness that can be learned and implemented with your own "Security Risk Professionals" leadership...


09 December 2018

Waves of Discourse: The Pursuit of Context...

As you contemplate your next activities in your new evolving startup, business unit or innovation cell, you may have lost some sleep.  You wonder what the next set of narratives and efforts shall be, to get your team aligned, not just vertically yet even more so horizontally.

The mission could be well defined and the vision articulated in just a few sentences.  Now the real question of Operational Risk Management (ORM) remains.

How effective will we execute the activities across our entire domain expertise, so there is exceptional horizontal communication, coordination, cooperation and continuous team context?
Context noun
con·​text | \ˈkän-ˌtekst
Definition of context
1 : the parts of a discourse that surround a word or passage and can throw light on its meaning

2 : the interrelated conditions in which something exists or occurs : environment, setting the historical context of the war
As the manager, leader, chief or key executive in your organization, what are you doing to provide your team continuous context?  How are you implementing the narratives and the tools to enable the development of and rapid understanding of contextualization for your team?

You see, they may understand the hierarchy.  They can see it on the organizational chart you created and e-mailed to everyone.  They might even have some grasp of the particular area of specialty or expertise that each department or "Line of Business" has for the delivery of their product or solution.

Now think about the "Waves" of discourse that exist in the environment that you are operating in today.

What is the current state of the setting or conditions that you will be executing your duties and tasks to achieve the mission this hour, this day or this week?
  • The "Waves" of change in "Location 1" are no doubt quite different than the change going on in "Location 2", such as the weather.  That is why you have multiple tools and methods to constantly observe the geographic anomalies that are occurring in these places, in almost real-time.
  • The "Waves" of change in the team supply chain for energy, data, fuel, resources and communications speed is continuously being monitored by sensors, that are both automated and human-based.
  • The "Waves" of change of the target market are continuous and requires substantial resources and analysis to gather, synthesize and report a contextual understanding of the current state of the environment.
The Mission.

Getting your team "Horizontally Aligned" is the real mission.  Think about it.  How does your organization provide context between business units, innovation cells or your particular product or solutions, to enable you to begin to achieve the shared mission?

On almost every successful journey, those individuals who are traveling across terrain, in the oceans or in our digitally-based stratosphere, there is utilization of some kind of navigational tools.  Whether it be the compass, a GPS or even the Domain-Name-System (DNS).

Yet what are you using to navigate your own organization?  What visually oriented ways are you providing context to your employees and other stakeholders so they can be more effective?

Begin the exercise with your team, by asking each of them to bring their own "handout" to the next quarterly meeting.  The handout should encompass their current business unit purpose, market approach and how it fits into the larger mosaic of the organization.

What is the likelihood that each person will end up bringing the same type of "handout"?  Will each bring a document full of words.  A document full of numbers.  Or will someone bring a map?  Is it one page, or many?

If your team ends up with all three and there is not any single method or tool that has created the handout, you will now understand why you are currently experiencing these significant "Waves" in your organization.  You are simply not in horizontal alignment.

It all begins with a map.  Now the question is, what kind of maps?

This is your first moment of contextualization.  You have clearly demonstrated that everyone is out of synch with each other on their understanding and perception of how the mosaic looks and "works" in your organization.

The Take Away.

Once you think you know and understand the vertical and horizontal set of solid and dotted line relationships in your organization, take a step back.

Now as you look at your new single journey map, realize that all these people and locations or processes or hubs are not equal. Regardless of rank or title, their influence or "Powerbase" of each, is a completely different factor in your "Waves of Discourse"...

01 December 2018

Survival: Experiential Learning to the Rescue...

Change is in the wind.  You have heard this before and the truth is, that this is not anything new.  We have only started to understand however, how the accelerating pace of change, is impacting us.

The number of App's staring at you in the palm of your hand should be one indicator.  How many are you using on a daily basis now?  No longer are we spending a work day logged into an e-mail client, our word processor and maybe the spreadsheet or database application.

The pace of change and the number of places we access our valuable daily information is rapidly taking over our lives.  We have seen the growth of Fortnite now at exponential proportions and little did Potomac Computer Systems, now Epic Games know what was ahead of them upon their founding in 1992.

In the gaming industry they have genre(s) and Fortnite is a survival game:
Survival games are a subgenre of action video games set in a hostile, intense, open-world environment, where players generally begin with minimal equipment and are required to collect resources, craft tools, weapons, and shelter, and survive as long as possible. Many survival games are based on randomly or procedurally generated persistent environments; more-recently created games are often playable online, allowing multiple players to interact in a single persistent world. 
Wake up corporate management.  As you proceed to continue your growth in your particular industry over the next decade, think about the pace of change.  How fast will you be able to pivot, adapt and survive in your persistent environment?

Think about your latest strategic endeavors that you have launched in the past year.  Has the process and goals been achieved, without some level of challenge, disruption or even misdeeds?  The likelihood is, that somewhere along the way, the project, the business or the endgame was at risk.  Perhaps not a total failure, yet not the envisioned outcome.

It is this game of perceived survival and the new pace of change in our lives, that is the greatest Operational Risk before us.  How will we mitigate the risk of such rapid change?

Experiential business learning is a vital way forward.

"Experiential business learning is the process of learning and developing business skills through the medium of shared experience. The main point of difference between this and academic learning is more “real-life” experience for the recipient.[31][32][33]

This may include for example, learning gained from a network of business leaders sharing best practice, or individuals being mentored or coached by a person who has faced similar challenges and issues, or simply listening to an expert or thought leader in current business thinking.

Providers of this type of experiential business learning often include membership organisations who offer product offerings such as peer group learning, professional business networking, expert/speaker sessions, mentoring and/or coaching."

How are you capitalizing on the people in your organization who are part of an external group or other network of like-minded professionals?  It's difficult if you don't even understand who or where your own employees are interacting on a daily basis outside your company.

So what?

Perhaps the place to start is by asking people.  Ask them over coffee in the corporate food court or that new Open Space floor plan with the "Bistro" on every other floor.  What if they told you, that they were a member of an external or virtual organization because they could not find the information or the people with the expertise inside your own organization?

Your goal is to figure out how to capitalize on all of these external groups, organizations and "Experiential Business Learning," that is going on within your own company today.
 How might you capture that passion and the excitement this individual has for the network or "Virtuous Insurgency" they are learning from everyday?
The Operational Risks before you, spans the number of people in your team who are learning somewhere else X the number of other networks they are affiliated with.

Who on your team is gaining new insight somewhere else?  Who are building valuable relationships outside the perimeter.  Who are living in a new unpredictable world of survival...without you even knowing about it.

What could you be learning today?