What is it that gets us through the day and enables us to survive and prosper as individual citizens, group organisations, nation states, global communities, even?
It’s possibly living free from the fear of disruption, whether this is a culmination of minor annoyances, or a scenario much more traumatic and sad. Resilience has many definitions and meanings. We can absorb some and debate these in a classroom or, indeed, a CSARN briefing.
But for me, ‘resilience’ fundamentally means an accomplished form of survival and leadership in times of turmoil – whether personal or organisational.
Moreover, for a more comprehensive life-cycle, an ability to strategize for the benefit of longevity and the longer-term, whilst withstanding the disruptions and derailments that life (and death) persistently throw at us. Resiliency is therefore a consistent activity and a persistent mid-set.
At the beginning of this week, for our inaugural Bucks New University ‘Working Lunch seminar’ with students, we welcomed some outstanding leaders in the field of Disaster Management - the ‘business end’ of resilience planning, if you like.
Across visiting CSARN this week, Jeff Dulin (Charlotte Fire Department), Jeff Cardwell (North Carolina), and south Manhattan fire Chief, John Esposito, gave us an exposition of planning and response for Hurricanes Sandy and Isabel, and also an insight into security planning for the 2012 Democrat Convention in Charlotte.
The lessons to be learned for less developed nations in the resilience field were profound and these will be no doubt highlighted by attending students from our MSc Organisational Resilience programme, and attending lecturers from our BA Security Consultancy and Certificate in Security Consultancy, in years to come.
Building on my knowledge, last month, I took time out from University and CSARN to work with an Olympic Sponsor at Russia’s Olympic Games.
Bearing witness to an incredibly friendly and professional security operation in the build-up and delivery of The Games, our risk management processes also focused on possibilities of natural hazards.
For this time of year across most of the nine time-zones of Russia, particularly severe weather conditions could potentially impact the business hubs and possible in-country travel routes hundreds of miles from the glorious sun of Sochi.
Weather conditions were relatively mild for Moscow late January, running through February: -25 to -2 Celsius. Snow fell intermittently. With each blizzard, cavalcades of heavy-duty snow ploughs were deployed at airports, railroads and along roads. Driving routes were continuously gritted.
Moreover, the individual mindset is resilient; it simply doesn’t occur to people to shut down and let the weather disrupt normal activity.
Preparation, response and recovery appears very similar to US perspectives, generally very well coordinated, with clear chains of command, alongside autonomy and resources to deliver.
The strategic leadership approaches, and some more tactical/operational approaches to crisis management, within an overall objective of pursuing enduring resilience, were clearly articulated by our American speakers.
Although the Security and Resilience Department at Bucks New University is an international-facing operation (with full-time deployed working students based in around 30 countries), perhaps our next working lunch seminar should focus on what I would term ‘Less Developed Countries’ in terms of resilience.
The lunches will usually be hosted at our prestigious 12th Century Missenden Abbey Business Centre just 45-mnutes via train from central London (see photo of Mondays participants).
For those who are both interested in joining our courses, or forwarding through case study countries, you are more than welcome to join me for this session which will be hosted by Bucks at the beginning of Autumn 2014.
Senior Lecturer Richard Bingley is Course Leader for the BA Security Consultancy at Bucks New University and a CSARN director and co-founder. For course enquiries or to contribute to the next Bucks working lunch seminar please write to Richard at: email@example.com