Michael D. Moberly May 23, 2017 A business intangible asset blog where attention span really matters!
Organizing principles, objectively grounded in fact, not aside anecdotes, give legitimacy to how particularly complicated and multi-faceted phenomena are articulated and effectively addressed. Organizing principles are extensions of (symbolize) the way we, as individuals or companies, conceptualize and/or have come to hold specific assumptions (correctly, incorrectly) about a particular phenomenon, event, circumstance, or human activity.
More specifically, how corporate security directors interpret – assess their role and contributory value to preventing-mitigating risk, i.e., adverse phenomena, may incorporate anecdotal bias and therefore be, at least in part, flawed insofar as being an effective security – asset safeguard – risk mitigation practice.
For many corporate directors of security, the act-process of conceptualization encompasses…
• who, what, when, where, why, how, and presence – absence of risk
• distinguishing the dynamics of a transaction, new initiative, R&D,
etc., insofar as intangible assets in play.
• probability of, vulnerability to, and criticality produced by certain
risks, when-if (should) they materialize.
Frequently too, corporate security organizing principles…
• represent (convey – symbolize) the strength and relevancy that
security attaches to those dynamics.
• frame-comprise security’s assumptions and ultimately influence how
security directors conceptualize a companies’ – businesses’
transactions, initiatives, and processes in terms of risk
materialization, commencement, and (adverse) effect on the intangible
Ad-hoc practices, on the other hand, are opposite to the concept of ‘operating principles’. That is, ad hoc, through my lens, is aligned – associated with the time-honored practice of ‘muddling through’ which experienced practitioners recognize may occasionally work.
If – when a business leader claims ad hoc practices function satisfactorily in terms of consistently achieving desired outcomes, I believe it’s important to acknowledge that extemporized practices taken to mitigate risk, may be rooted, at least in part, in the absence or irrelevance of circumstance (company) specific ‘organizing principles’ which after all, are largely intangible, i.e., comprised of intellectual, relationship, and structural capital.
The notion of ‘muddling through’ is often associated with political (science) arena. Muddling through is often over- simplified (in a military context) as the oft cited notion which suggests ‘after the first shot is fired, all prior planning, regardless of its strategic quality, goes to hell!’
I can think of no circumstance in which ‘muddling through’ should be recognized as a viable or legitimate strategic practice.
For these reasons, I encourage company security directors to exercise caution and prudence when organizations equate – elevate ‘ad hoc’ practices to the level of boastful satisfaction, that yes, may have been the product of individual – sector specific judgements and experiences, not to be mistaken though with ‘flying by the seat of one’s pants’. (This has been substantially adapted/modified by Michael D. Moberly from the fine work of Noah Gordon, The Atlantic, August 14, 2016)
Operationally speaking, if-when company security directors’ operating principles are not practically aligned – coincide with how c-suites conceptualize risk(s) associated with particular initiatives, circumstances, and/or transactions, it’s time to seek – create opportunities to elevate their functional familiarity with the intangible assets in play for each circumstance and their respective risks.