Chair: Martin Gill

Panellists:
Brigadier General (Rtd) Ahamed Mohamed, Chapter Chairman at ASIS Kenya (Kenya)
Dr. Shaun Davis, Global Director of Compliance and Sustainability at Royal Mail (UK)
Bonnie Michelman CPP CHPA, Executive Director: Police, Security and Ourside Services at Massachusetts General Hospital/Partners HealthCare, Inc. (US)
Paul Stanley, Chief Security Officer, Province of British Columbia (Canada)

Key points

Shaun Davis notes that the crisis provides an opportunity to learn and places an emphasis on the importance of sustainability. His company has undertaken exercises planning for a crisis and while there will inevitably some things that have worked better than others, he notes the importance of looking out for learning opportunities. He has found that while the immediate response has been good you will hear him highlight other areas to learn from; the length of the pandemic has caused fatigue and that needs managing carefully. He advocates issuing clear messages and staying connected. He is an advocate of multi skilled teams incorporating for example safety and security personnel.  Also the need for security to engage with other corporate professionals by speaking to them in terms that relate to their world, to do this hear him talk about the benefits in learning about business.

Bonnie Michelman has worked through previous disasters and notes that Covid-19 has posed additional challenges; supply shortages, extremists attacking in new ways, violence as people are confused, and keeping operations running. She notes security cannot prepare for every emergency; there will always be learning points, take notes she argues, and work from principles. She is a supporter in security taking on responsibilities outside its immediate area of responsibility, it is not contamination as some argue, but enhancement. She highlights the need to understand people’s roles, have trusted partnerships, collaborate effectively, and commit to over delivering.

Paul Stanley starts by highlighting the importance of speaking to local communities in languages they understand. Security is facing new challenges in terms of types of protests that they have not been used to. You will hear him discussing the need to make adjustments including having to reinforce systems. He too highlights the benefits of collaboration and laments the lowest bidder mentality. He invites security personnel to smile more.

Mohamed Ahamed highlights the scale of the disruption in Kenya, it has had a major impact on business and people. In that context security has been received positively, he has underlined the importance of a good provider as opposed to a bad one; certification has a clear value. He too is positive about security playing a broader role.

Clearly security is facing new challenges, and this includes new types of discontent. This crisis is different not least because it is lasting longer, and this is creating fatigue and new types of unrest. As you will hear having been effective so far offers no guarantees for the future. That is the importance of learning effectively now.