Snippet Four:  

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components, i.e. air transport, shipping, law enforcement and military. While the organizations that I was talking to were naturally focused on security and the threat of terrorism, very few of them were looking at the other components, which though seemingly less important, were nevertheless critical to successfully weathering the impacts of the attacks:  Compete and Perform. Although excessive concerns over economic performance might have appeared unseemly during this time, for the millions who would loose their jobs in the months ahead and the thousands of businesses that closed their doors or fell into economic retrenchment, Competing and Performing would prove as critical as Protection.

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Key Lessons

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Frameworks are valuable in many contexts, but are particularly useful and effective during difficult times and unexpectedly dynamic conditions, both negative and positive. Events such as those of 9/11 can cause paralysis at every organizational layer and equally damaging tunnel vision, as attention shifts from what is most importnat to what is most dramatically urgent. Under these conditions, the C-P-P framework serves to:

  1. Make it clear that effectively functioning and dealing with prevailing conditions is multi-dimensional in nature, requiring that leaders, managers and performance employees remain engaged with all three (C, P & P),
  2. Provide a proven, well understood structure to guide the analysis of the evolving operational environment and ensure that appropriate steps are taken to mitigate negative impacts and maximize positive ones,
  3. Serve as a source of stability and proven guidance against over and under-reaction, thus mitigating paralysis and activity that is not based on a cogent, agreed to approach,
  4. Keeps everyone's attention focused on the organization's interests, established winning objectives, performance goas and protective strategies. This is particularly important for the organization's executives, which will be looked to for guidance and leadership.

Organizations like FedEx and UPS excelled in this regard. They never lost track of their purpose, need to effectively deliver on their promises and the importance of protecting market share while concurrently protecting their employees, organizations and clients from the threats of terrorism. Their demonstrable performance and attitude in light of the chaotic situation of those days served to inspire and sustain their clients confidence in their service and dependibility under adverse conditions. These characteristics would be demonstrated again in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina.

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Summary

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This case illustrates how a process that incorporates all three contextual areas is particularly critical during unexpectedly dynamic periods.  Events such as 9/11 and natural disasters can undermine the best defined plans and the confidence of employees and clients alike, unless the organization's leadership is able to rise above the disruptions, fears and other human reaction. Many organization in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, could not figure out HOW to figure out the implications of the events on their current and future operations. For many, attention shifted to issues of security, even though security was not a source of revenue, simply because it was the obvious issue. At a time when the economy was already under significant stress, failing to thoroughly consider and respond to economic, competitive and performance challenges was a crucial, albeit understandable, error.

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Finally, an important consideration for organizational leaders is that the underlying context of leadership can change following a major change in the organization's operational environment. A leader that is trusted based on his or her demonstrated ability to lead a growing organization, will have to validate that trust during difficult times by keeping it focused, competitive and performing. C-P-P provides the stable framework that facilitates and supports the leadership in particular and the organization in general in securing its interests and achieving its most critical objectives.

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Snippet Five:  Terrorism Related Government Policies - Security Background Checks

Description

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In the aftermath of 9/11 the potential threats of terrorists attacking from the 'inside' of organizations in the private and public domains. The Federal government first recommended and later required security background checks of some employees in specific industries, such as transporters of hazardous materials. A more general recommendation that employers in other industries employ such checks to mitigate specific threats was also issued by the Department of Homeland Security.

Problem

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While DHS has a singular focus, Homeland Security, the vast majority of businesses operate under competing and often conflicting interests. Security background checks and new requirements for access to specific jobs and thus potential promotions have consequences for the workforce. They also have implications for issues such as discrimination based on race, ethnicity and religion, something the Federal Government made clear.

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This is a situation that greatly benefits from the C-P-P approach by providing an objective framework for assessing the implications of such policies from multiple dimensions, thus avoiding tunnel thinking. Finally, having an objective framework helps to mitigate the effects of potential personal bias and/or the likelihood of accusations and legal action from affected employees.

Lessons

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Policies have implications that are contextual and which are often missed by organizations working within a single context. When policies, laws and regulations are considered and promulgated by a government entity in general and the Federal Government in particular, it is important for such policies to look beyond a single context to those of the population (of people or entities) that will be affected.

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When agencies define requirements that are clearly outside the experience of most organizations and people being affected, then, for the sake of performance, those requirements and recommendations should be accompanied by clear implementation guidelines.

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Similarly, when an organization finds itself having to comply with requirements that are outside its core competency, it should look beyond the 'task' in question to the implications in a higher context. C-P-P can deliver on the higher context through a framework that is known to the organization, thus mitigating the effects of limited experience and reducing the risks of hiring an outside entity to do what 'they' think is best based on their competency with those tasks, i.e. personnel security in this case.

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Summary

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SDS developed a detailed analysis and primate white paper from which this snippet was extracted. That analysis and report were based on the C-P-P process and over two years experience studying the decision making of individuals, who have been attracted to the radical islamist cause. That report and underlying basis are available on a limited distribution basis to our clients.

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Snippet Six:  Indirect Risks from an Interconnected World

Description

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Specialization as a means to greater efficiency and productivity has become so well established that many system providers have effectively become systems integrators. Very few equipment and systems manufacturers actually produce all of the critical components at the heart of their systems, particularly when such components require highly specialized manufacturing processes, as in the case of microchips.

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Equally important, the chain of critical components generally extends beyond any single level or manufacturer to sub-components and sub-systems. For example, an electrical controls systems supplier may rely on a particular manufacturer for a special controller, without which their primary product could not be produced. The supplier of the special controller may in turn rely on one or more suppliers of sub-components to produce his product. A subcomponent manufacturer may in turn rely on a chip die maker and chip producer and on-down the global supply chain. 

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In traditional risk management assessments, corporate assets are generally evaluated to determine the impact of various credible threat events such as earthquake, floods, storms, fires, etc. While this approach remains valid, in a highly integrated environment, it fails to deliver the expected level of risk definition and mitigation. This is because, in practice, an event that disrupts the ability of suppliers to deliver critical ...

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