Q. With all the specialty knowledge that certain positions are requiring, whether for new physical security systems, GSOC, and even investigations, how do we develop leaders that can lead these services? How do we best attract, find, develop, and retain the kind of people that are needed for an effective security team?
A. We need to examine candidates’ leadership roles and skills and use performance measurement tools. Next-generation leadership acumen will be sorely tested with the increasing compliance expectations and continuing resource constraints. Our ability to differentiate services, articulate value and retain talent is critical for brand protection. Business continuity in every sense is dependent on leadership continuity.
The following are some key considerations:
Prioritize talent as a strategic objective. Its hard work to put together a top team. Get paid for it (e.g., think bonus if you succeed) -- organizational talent acquisition, development and retention are highly valued. Align with your boss to establish this important win-win for him/her, your stakeholders, the brand, and you. Make and prove the value proposition and report progress quarterly.
Your jobs as a risk mitigation professional should map directly to the opportunity. Failure to establish appropriate talent is a risk, particularly if innovation is prized. Refer to your enterprise-level risk documentation and map what has been deemed important risks to mitigate to your team.
Understand the task and its cross-functional complexities. People, system, and technology assignments require proven and potential leadership attributes and/or DNA. Find the characteristics needed or admired in your organization to influence stakeholder confidence.
Conduct an inventory of personnel, technology, and systems for value. Just as company sales offerings evolve to stay relevant in the marketplace, so too must your risk mitigation talent and services. Ensure your department is focused on business enabling services that are evolving and matter most to executive leadership. Retire services that are not core to supporting the business mission. Use this extra capacity to re-invent and re-invest in emerging risk mitigation.
To quote Aristotle, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” In our previous roles as practitioners we have learned that an environment whereby collective knowledge is embraced within an organization has always been a key ingredient to creating the next generation of leaders responsible for enabling effective all-hazards risk mitigation.
Editor’s note: The SEC’s Next Generation Security Leader (NGSL) forum addresses these kinds of issues. The next gathering is April 12-13 in various Boeing campuses and offers a call-in option. To learn more, visit the NGSL page.