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  • Posted By Scott
  • |
  • Apr 24, 2017

The Expert from Afar........

Robert Ringer, in his book Winning through Intimidation, speaks very articulately on the subject of the “expert from afar” syndrome. Basically, the concept is that sometimes internal advice can fall on deaf ears, but when that same advice is espoused by an external source, it receives all sorts of credibility and applause. Over our 20 years with condominium management, we have seen this theory in action multiple times.

Happily, in the Security Industry, both the inside and outside experts are singing the same tune… And the name of the song is “Be Prepared”.

We recently attended an excellent seminar put on by ASIS titled “Climate Change Threats to Physical Security & Business Continuity”. There were two expert speakers who presented their topics in a very engaging and informative matter. When the speaker was talking about Emergency Response and Disaster Recovery, a statement was made in regards to the personalities involved in approving a plan that is, based on our experience, very relevant to the condominium management environment.

Paraphrased, it went something like to the following...

There are two management styles when it comes to approving and implementing a security and/or recovery plan. The first style adopts the “hope for the best, but plan for the worst” attitude that states that it is better to have and not need, then to need and not have (a security plan). These are the managers and directors that embrace the proactive, long range management style, and see the achievements of goals in terms of years rather than weeks and months.

It was the second management style that struck me as relevant to our industry. Instead of adopting the “prepare for the worst” strategy, this management style embraces the “plausible deniability” strategy (see our blog on Security Myth #1). This management strategy revolves around the short-term and is based on the prayer that nothing happens during their term. The contingency plan is that if something does happen, we will go back to strategy #1 (plausible deniability) and claim that there was no fore-knowledge that a security event could occur in the facility.

As we often state in our Condominium Security presentations: The decision not to make a decision is a decision in itself. A security omission can carry the same, sometimes worse, consequences as an incorrect security decision.

This first style of management - the proactive one - was also referred to in an excellent article by Mel Gedruj in the March/April 2017 edition of Canadian Security Magazine entitled The Good Manager. A copy of the article can be found online at: Click here

In his article, he discusses practical matters and offers relevant quotes when it comes to strategic planning. Dennis Dalton's book Rethinking Corporate Security in the post 9/11 era defines good strategic planning as:

“Doing the right things, the right way, to achieve the desired outcome”

Another excellent thought is from “Good Strategy, Bad Strategy” by Richard P. Rumelt. In this book, the author defines the kernel of good strategy as containing three (3) elements.

1. A diagnoses (The security assessment)

2. A guiding policy (The condominium’s approval process and security budget)

3. A set of coherent actions (Security Project Management)

(to carry out the policies)

With so many security experts in all the different fields playing and singing the same tune, surely it is just a matter of time until we all listen…. Of course we will all listen, the real question is “will we hear?”

If you have any questions regarding this blog or anything else relating to physical security, kindly contact us at [email protected]