Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Run Meetings Like a Super Villain


 

How many times have you sat through a meeting that just dragged on and on…and on? Nothing was getting accomplished and half the people were not even paying attention, checking emails on smart phones under the table or just blatantly paying attention to the tablet or laptop propped up right in front of them? If you are like me, then the answer is far too often!

Movies, on the other hand, are amazingly efficient. There is no time wasted on drudgery or banal activities. Dialogue is snappy and to the point and even the most complicated of discussions is resolved in a few minutes at most.

Perhaps the most efficient are the movie villains. Villains have a clear goal, usually the destruction of, or ruling of, the Earth. Little time is wasted on pointless meetings or discussions that do not immediately forward their evil plans.

In fact, if you want to be more productive, take a few pointers from Super Villains on how to run your meetings.

1.      Have an exotic location. You may not need to travel overseas or hold the meeting in some secret underground lair, but do make sure the meeting is set up to be comfortable with room and chairs for everyone involved. If you are using presentation tools, such as PowerPoint, or whiteboards, make sure everything is in place and working. You’ll never see a master villain foiled by his own demonstration.

2.     Skip the fluff. Nothing is more annoying than one person sidetracking a meeting with his or her own personal agenda or just eager to hear themselves talk. Keep everyone on track and on target.

3.     Risk of death keeps everyone in line. We’ve all seen the movies where one of the wayward baddies runs into a sticky end once uncovered. Your company HR director will likely object if you start electrocuting your staff or feeding them to crocodiles through a trapdoor in the conference room. However, you can hold people accountable if goals are missed or work not done.

4.     No distractions. It is hard to imagine a villain such as Blofeld, from the James Bond realm, putting up with his team reading emails or texting while he is explaining his plan to rule the world or knock-off Fort Knox. Put a quick end to the distractions (see rule #3 above).

5.     Focus on outcome. Bad guys and gals do not waste time vacillating or hesitating over decisions. Analyze the data and potential risks and then move forward on the agenda with 100% of your efforts.

6.     Decisions followed to the “T”. Or else…(see rule #3).

7.     White cat is optional. Even the most evil of villains has a human side. It is okay to let that show, at least in moderation, in front of others. After all, Blofeld always had his fluffy cat with him.

That should do it. Oh yeah…now go out and conquer the world – or at least your competition!

Get a Business Black Belt for your organization – visit www.businesskarate.com/karate-belts.

Learn self-defense for your business with Eric Smith’s new book, WorkplaceSecurity Essentials! Every aspect of protecting a workplace is compared to a self-defense skill taught to budding karate students, all in a practical and entertaining style, drawing on Eric’s law enforcement and security experience.

Eric is available for staff education and security awareness training as well as business coaching to help organizations provide safe workplaces. To learn more email Eric at businesskarate dot com.

 

 

If you would like to reprint this post, please contact Eric at Eric at businesskarate dot com.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Awareness – The Foundation of Good Security


If you were learning a martial art, such as karate, one of the first steps would be to learn how to stand. Not standing as if you were waiting in line at the grocery store; but standing in a stance that helps you maintain balance. A karate student learns several different stances for different positions and situations, all of which keep the weight distributed more evenly and have a lower center of gravity than normal, making it easier to stay on your feet rather than getting knocked down.

           
In my book, Workplace Security Essentials, I looked at how martial art skills translate to the protection and security of organizations, such as businesses, schools or hospitals. The stance is the basic posture or position, such as a business’ awareness of security risks forms its posture or position related to risks.

In short, if a business wants to improve security or protect itself from crime, leaders must create awareness and share information about security concerns. But how is that done?

The heart of awareness is knowledge – knowledge about the real-life problems, challenges and threats facing a business or workplace. That means an organization needs to have a record of crimes that have happened at the site or immediate surroundings. Even small businesses with less activity can still look at crime in the area, using local police information about risks in the community.

In fact, tracking criminal activity is considered so important that higher education, such as colleges and universities, are required to maintain records and logs of criminal events per the Clery Act.
The Clery Act requires universities and colleges to track crime. (photo from Wiki Commons)

To be even more effective, knowledge has to be shared. Use the crime log to keep employees up-to-date on any security alerts or warnings. This should include crime prevention tips related to any ongoing crime patterns or even BOLOs (Be On the Look Out) to help employees recognize suspects or suspicious activity.

Unfortunately, some leaders feel that sharing crime information only creates alarm or undue distractions for employees. My experience has been the opposite. Not sharing information, especially about any crimes that have occurred on the company grounds or to employees, will be passed along – often through rumors that grow and change until the original minor crime has morphed into the most heinous crime of the century. Sharing information, along with practical prevention tips, will build real awareness. Perhaps more importantly, it builds trust. Employees will feel that the organization is looking out for them, not keeping them in the dark.

Going back to the Clery Act for higher education, the Act requires that alerts or warnings be issued for specific crimes, including violent and property crimes. Institutions are encouraged to issue warnings for other crimes as well, but leave that up to the school.

Building a base level of knowledge about the real risks and sharing information about those risks is the best way to begin building awareness and developing your security stance. This forms the basis of the security program.

To get more ideas on how to build security awareness, check out Workplace Security Essentials.

Get a Business Black Belt for your organization – visit www.businesskarate.com/karate-belts.


Learn self-defense for your business with Eric Smith’s new book, Workplace Security Essentials! Every aspect of protecting a workplace is compared to a self-defense skill taught to budding karate students, all in a practical and entertaining style, drawing on Eric’s law enforcement and security experience.

Eric is available for staff education and security awareness training as well as business coaching to help organizations provide safe workplaces. To learn more email Eric at businesskarate dot com.


 

If you would like to reprint this post, please contact Eric at Eric at businesskarate dot com.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Credit Card Skimming


Anyone can become a victim of identity theft. This week was my turn – once again. My credit card company called to check on some suspicious purchases where someone used my card number to buy over a $1,000 worth of merchandise on a boot-buying binge as well as hundreds of dollars at a grocery store, all in a town about an hour from where I live.

On this video blog, you can learn a little bit about skimming and how crooks get your card number and what to do to minimize the risks.

 

Get a Business Black Belt for your organization – visit www.businesskarate.com/karate-belts.

Eric Smith, CPP is the leading authority on organizational self-defense. He has extensive experience in law enforcement as well as security management. Eric is available for staff education and security awareness training as well as business coaching to help organizations provide safe workplaces. To learn more email Eric at businesskarate dot com.

 

 

If you would like to reprint this post, please contact Eric at Eric at businesskarate dot com.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Turning a New Page


Some of you who routinely read my posts already know that I’ve been working on a new book. The original idea stems back several years ago when I had the idea that the same self-defense techniques taught to karate students could apply to a business, or any other type of organization.

The idea eventually grew into the whole concept of Business Karate, which I incorporated into this blog and my website. It is a way to combine my interest in martial arts with the business of protection and the protection of business.

The book, Workplace Security Essentials, covers all the basic principles throughout the 14 chapters. For example, one chapter covers employee threats based on the idea of learning to throw a punch. A punch is really best for a very close target as compared to a kick that has more reach. Employees are very close to the most vital assets of an organization and can often cause the most damage and loss.

Throughout the book, I used real-life examples, many from my own experience in law enforcement as well as security management. There are numerous examples, such as tables, forms and other tools throughout the book to help a reader enhance their own organization’s security program.

Of course, it has not been an easy process. In fact, it was very eye opening. I had always pictured writers working alone over a typewriter in some remote country home. Instead, I quickly learned that writing was a matter of putting in a busy day doing all the normal work, then stealing every little block of time to work on the book. There were also many evenings and weekends, I had to tell my kids ‘no’ when they wanted to do something fun – taking them to the park to play basketball or even going for one of their favorite “zombie runs.”

But, finally, the book is done and just released on Amazon by the publisher, as well as on the publisher’s site (Elsevier). I got my copies about a week ago and I have to say that it was thrilling to see and hold the finished product in my hand!

So now, in a manner of speaking, it is time to turn a new page. With the book done, I will be turning to marketing it. Not only that, but I am ready to start work on more books. I have several ideas, including some fiction novels and want to get those written in the near future. I will take a more realistic view of any schedules and deadlines so I don’t miss those valuable family times. I also plan to spend more time working on this blog again.

Speaking of turning a new page – if you are looking to turn a new page, may I suggest turning the pages in my latest book, Workplace Security Essentials. I’ll make it easy for you – you can order a copy by just clicking this link: http://www.amazon.com/Workplace-Security-Essentials-Organizations-Environments/dp/0124165575/

 

Get a Business Black Belt for your organization – visit www.businesskarate.com/karate-belts.

Eric Smith, CPP is the leading authority on organizational self-defense. He has extensive experience in law enforcement as well as security management. Eric is available for staff education and security awareness training as well as business coaching to help organizations provide safe workplaces. To learn more email Eric at businesskarate dot com.

 

 

If you would like to reprint this post, please contact Eric at Eric at businesskarate dot com.