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This module will take you through Adding Value.
- Cost or Investment?
- Business Manager
- Competitive Advantage
- Subject Matter Expertise
- Proactive Risk Management
- Crisis Management
- Business Continuity
- Education and Training
- Point of Contact
- Main Points
The information in this document is part of the Deltar
‘Level 4 Management Award in Advanced Risk and Crisis Management’
As should already be clear from the previous sections of this module, for security management to be truly effective it should be embedded into the very heart of an organisation, intricately connected with every aspect of its’ operations and general management culture. However, the truth is that in many, if not most, organisations security management lacks the status of other aspects of the organisations management processes, and in many ways is seen as being something that can be considered once a year at an annual review.
There are a number of reasons why that happens, which will be touched upon in this section, but it is certainly the case that the way that security management represents itself often causes it to be seen as a ‘poor cousin’, one lacking the status and respect that it deserves. In many organisations, security managers are seen as being involved with operational matters, rather than strategic decision makers. As such, they are considered in the same group as facility managers, fleet hire managers and other members of the ‘back room staff’. If security management is to be given the central role that we believe it should, then security managers in turn must make sure that they have the skills and capabilities that will allow them to fulfil that role in an effective and appropriate manner.
Cost or Investment?
One of the fundamental reasons that security is not given the place it merits at the directors boardroom is that rather than being seen as ‘adding value’ to an organisation, it is considered to be a ‘non-productive cost’, which in turn causes it to become a ‘grudging spend’, rather than a well-supported investment. Security management is undoubtedly spend-driven – there is a need for a high level of technology, whether CCTV (Closed Circuit Television), fencing, lighting, control rooms, vehicles, personnel, etc, which needs to be both maintained and upgraded on a regular basis.
However, there is also a case that could be made that effective security management can rationalise the security management programme, and especially in a larger organisation where security functions are spread across different sites, and can find effective cost savings without compromising security. In many cases, there is a business case to be made that by upgrading and taking advantage of newer technology, real savings can be made across the organisations’ security spend.
The power of the above argument demonstrates another basic truth about the modern security manager – he or she is a Business Manager of a significant division within the organisation, and therefore should be able to bring all of the skills to the business management aspect of their role as would the equivalent head of any other division. This should be reflected in the language used to describe the value of the security division to the organisation, the way that it is presented and the supporting material that is produced.
In many situations, security management is seen as a business inhibitor rather than an opportunity enabler. For many people within the organisation, the only contact they have with the security operation is when they arrive in the building in the morning, or have a problem with their pass card. However on a wider perspective, the security management programme should be a business enabler, allowing the organisation to gain a competitive advantage over its competitors. This may be because they can gain ‘First Mover Advantage’ by expanding into new markets where their competitors cannot – this is especially true in what might be seen as high risk areas that could be an inhibitor to business development by organisations with less well-developed security management capabilities.
Subject Matter Expertise
The Security Manager’s role has traditionally seen to have been relatively unskilled when compared to the level of professional capability expected from the heads of the finance division, business development division, marketing and branding division, etc. This is a hangover from the era when security managers were traditionally hired on the basis of their previous police experience, and the function that they fulfilled was often little more than in-house policeman. However, that has been changing over the last ten years, and there are now a wide range of professional and academic security management training programmes available. If the security manager is to achieve the same status as comparable managers in other divisions, it is necessary for them to show that they are able to bring the same level of expertise and professional development as their equivalents would. The security manager should expect to be the point of reference for all issues relating to security within the organisation, whether it is personal, as in foreign travel, operational, as in day to day management of security operations, or strategic, as in contributing to the organisation’s continued growth and development.
Proactive Risk Management
Whilst a large part of a security manager’s function will naturally be involved with managing the routine tasks associated with the security team, it is also necessary for them to become part of the ‘Over the Horizon’ thinking that is an essential part of any strategic management project. The nature of the present world means that the risks and threats facing any organisation are radically different than those that would have been faced in previous generations. Whether it is natural disasters, technological breakdowns, political upheavals or the ‘unknown unknowns’ that could strike at any time, the role of the security manager is to bring these threats to the attention of strategic decision makers, and to ensure that appropriate risk management procedures are in place.
In the event that a genuine crisis does occur, it will be the security team that will be expected to draw up immediate response plans, to explain those to the rest of the organisation, and to take responsibility for the delivery and management of those programmes in order to realise a successful conclusion to the situation. The success or otherwise of such solutions will depend on the development of previous crisis management palns that will allow appropriate options to be created and managed in the face of high-pressure, potential catastrophic losses, breakdowns in normal communication and lines of command, and possible total disruption of normal operating capabilities. Crisis management capability is something that is developed , maintained and improved over time, through training, exercises and a high level of personal connection between the significant take-holders within an organisation. This is one area where the competent security manager can demonstrate real value to an organisation.
One of the clearest aspects of a security manager’s function in relation to crisis management is to ensure that the organisation has the capability to maintain viable functionality even at the time of greatest disruption. Although this is not limited to the security management team, and will require genuine multi-division collaboration, it should be a function of the security managers to contribute their specialist expertise in terms of risk management, contingency planning and general project leadership. BCM (Business Continuity Management) is widely recognised as being a significant indicator as to the general level of effective organisational management, and is one place where the security management team can rightfully claim to have a level of expertise unmatched in any other division in the company.
Education and Training
Given that security awareness is something that should be an integral part of every aspect of an organisation’s operations, it is clear that the security division has a role to play in developing both the appropriate corporate culture as well as specific skills and capabilities. It is the security manager’s responsibility to ensure that everyone within the organisation is aware of their security role, how they can contribute to general organisational safety, and what specific steps should be taken in the event that potential threats are detected or actual incidents occur. Whilst it is easy for these up-skilling programmes to become tick box exercises, if they are seen as genuinely contributing to the development of a more effective organisation, then they will be valued as an integral part of the organisation’s on-going corporate development process.
Point of Contact
As well as proactively raising the role of the security division, an effective security manager will develop the relationship with other divisions that will allow them to approach the security team for advice and guidance in areas where otherwise they might just have made a best guess and carried on. To a large extent it is a sign of a successful security management system if managers from other divisions feel comfortable about dropping in to have a chat.
You have now completed the first, Introductory Module of this programme. Rather than giving detailed analysis of the specific skills that are an integral part of an effective Security Manager’s portfolio, which will be covered in the following modules, the purpose of this module was to give you a basic understanding of the fundamental concepts that are the foundation of any security management programme.
The concepts covered here will come up time and again in the rest of the course material, often within different contexts or with slightly different labels. However, if you understand the relationship between risk and security, understand how to create an effective command structure, can interact with the other divisions within the organisation, and perhaps most of all, can clearly demonstrate the added value that you bring to any organisation that you might be associated with, then you can be confident that you will be able to play a full part in creating an effective security management system that will provide the appropriate level of protection for the people, assets and operations in your company.
It may well be that as you go through this course there might be specific areas that take your interest. It could be in risk analysis, security auditing, overseas development, facilities management or crisis management. Whatever it might be, it is the duty of the modern Security Manager to be able to offer a level of knowledge, experience and professional capability that will be at least equal to the equivalent experts in every other division of the organisation. Your future path starts here. Enjoy, and Bon Voyage…..
- In order to add value to the overall organisational management structure, the security manager must have the same level of personal and professional capabilities as any other senior manager of equivalent division.
- To make an effective contribution to the organisation’s security and long-term success, the security manager should be seen as part of the strategic decision-making process, rather than ‘merely’ as part of the back-room support staff.
- In order to be valued, the security manager should be able to demonstrate that they are adding to organisational capability and competitiveness, rather than being an unproductive cost.
- Security managers should be valued for the level of subject matter expertise that they offer, in the same way that the managers of other business divisions would be.
- Security managers should be seen as making a contribution to the success of every other division within the organisation, rather than being isolated as a separate, and relatively unimportant, adjunct to the organisation.