Business Resilience Tip: You Can’t Be Resilient When You’re Dead!

Business Resilience Tip: You Can’t Be Resilient When You’re Dead! 150 150 David Discenza

Now that I have your attention, the recent active assailant event (June 28th, 2018) in Annapolis, Maryland, should serve as a stern reminder that bad things happen and, very often, they can be prevented or their impact lessened.

In 2013, the former editor of the Annapolis “The Capital” newspaper, Thomas Marquardt, told the newspaper’s attorneys “This guy is going to come in and shoot us”. He had talked to the company attorneys about filing a restraining order. It’s not clear from the news reports whether the attorneys or Marquardt eventually decided against it. Whoever it was, time has proven the decision wrong.

You need to trust your “gut feeling” about the threat posed by an individual whether that person is an employee, former employee, or a spouse or relative of an employee. Your HR policies should include a “zero tolerance” for workplace violence and provide the means for employees to report any behavior that makes them feel uncomfortable. If someone sees or hears something, they need to feel safe in saying something without fear of retribution.

What about threats from the outside, such as an angry customer? You, as a leader, need to take these threats seriously and take all necessary precautions, including legal action, to provide for the safety of your employees. Invite your local police or sheriff’s department in to conduct active assailant training. They will be glad to do it for two reasons:

1. They want to reduce the number of these incidents as much as anyone

2. The police don’t like going into an environment blind. This will provide them the opportunity to get to know the layout of your business so, should something ever happen, they know what to expect in terms of office layout. They will also have recommendations for you to improve the safety of your work environment.

A resilient business proactively looks for events that can disrupt the business and then acts to prevent them from happening or reducing the impact should they happen. In the case of active assailants, it’s safer to assume that they will carry out their threats. Inform local law enforcement of the threat. Use whatever legal means are necessary to prevent that person from making good on their threats. You do not want to be in the position of saying “If only I had acted”.

Share This