Originally this post ran in February of 2011 and has since ran more than once resulting from when I suddenly get quizzed by a subscriber or other in a “Didn’t you write or speak about getting ready or planning for such a while back?” fashion.
I originally penned this when Greece was in turmoil for the first time over 4 years ago and violent protest erupted. This was also prior to what is now commonly known as the Occupy Movement that started in Zuccotti Park. At that time I was ahead of the curve and some (actually many) scoffed at me implying their needing to think in this manner. Others gave me the obligatory “Yeah. yeah, yeah, makes sense…” Then went right on to other subjects as if it was – unimportant. Or, something that happens elsewhere.
The possibility of it ever happening in their location? This was to them – unimaginable. Until many learned that “elsewhere” can sometimes be – right there. Where they never imagined – right where they were! Again, this was nearly 7 months before anyone ever heard of the Occupy movement let alone the take over of Zuccotti Park.
Now with protests that have taken place over the years in far too many locations around the globe as well as here in the U.S. While seemingly growing in both frequency as well as severity. I would hope more might heed my advice for action as to help prepare – as well as possibly protect themselves from possible financial ruin – or worse.
Waiting too long can leave not only yourself with no options; but also customers, and employees. I’m used to being ahead of the curve so the slings and arrows I initially received when I first spoke and wrote on such possibilities come with that territory. But (and it’s a very big but) once facts prove warnings as real? You need to act before verbal slings and arrows around your businesses turn into the more literal sense of: sticks, stones, and possibly a whole lot more.
Below is the original post:
Protests at Home or Abroad and What it Means to Your Business February 20, 2011
This is not about whose right, wrong, or anything else of that nature. This is about your business.
Doesn’t matter what you do, whether you’re the CEO of a large global corporation, or an employee with an entrepreneurial mind-set. Either way; you have to look at these events in a very different manner than most. No, not to capitalize on them, but how to avoid possible financial ruin or other disruptions because of them.
As we’ve seen over the last few weeks things can change at any time, and for many reasons that seemed near improbable.
The problem for many in business, is they can find themselves smack dab in the middle of protests, fighting, looting, and a host of other things that one never dreams of happening, till it does!
Many coveted retail or office locations are right in the heart of any city and that’s usually where any gathering or protests will be.
What happens to your business, your employees, your retail stores, your customers if for no reason than just being at the center causes damage to your infrastructure, or people?
We are seeing today like at no other time in history technology has enabled connectivity en mass. If you’ve been following the news as of late, you can’t help but be awed in the speed and power of such demonstrations. But I need you to change your thought process and water cooler subject from, “Have you seen the news?” to “Do we have a contingency plan for our business if disrupted?”
Trust me, I’m not trying to be callous. The reason for the events are for others to discuss. I want you to be pragmatic in how you can protect either your people or business.
If a protest broke out in front of one of your locations would you or could you shutter it down? Who would be in charge of such an undertaking? Would you be reliant on the cleaning crew to make sure the doors were locked? Would you send senior staff, or a combination there of? I hope you’re getting my point. If you have, or are in business, you can no longer leave such a discussion as, “I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.” because what is being demonstrated is – there may be No bridge!
As professionals one must always hope for the best, but plan for the worst. That’s not to say you create some committee derived, bullet pointed, and bound code book that must be signed off by top staff and the cook who carries the secret decoder ring.
What is far more important is that you have an honest roundtable discussion with either yourself, or some pertinent staff members that can theorize some sort of outline. It needn’t be perfect because situations such as these are always fluid, but it’s far easier to direct the water if you have an understanding where the banks might be.
If technology can demonstrate how fast it can bring about disruptive change, than the same must be viewed on how you can use technology to step aside of that disruption and try your best to protect your people, or your property.
Not only might you be thankful for being ahead of the crowd, but so might everyone else that depends on your products, or services.
And that’s smart business.
© 2015 Mark St.Cyr