The Security Circle

EP 002 David Rubens 'Security Risk Management' and the launch of his new book in 2023!

January 22, 2023 Dr David Rubens Season 1 Episode 2
EP 002 David Rubens 'Security Risk Management' and the launch of his new book in 2023!
The Security Circle
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The Security Circle
EP 002 David Rubens 'Security Risk Management' and the launch of his new book in 2023!
Jan 22, 2023 Season 1 Episode 2
Dr David Rubens

David Rubens talks to Yolanda and Ash about Global Crisis Management and why there are so many of the same problems all around the world.

He talks about his new book Strategic Risk and Crisis Management,  A handbook for modelling and managing complex risks.

David never disappoints. This half an hour sped by for us.

Security Circle ⭕️ is an IFPOD production for IFPO the International Foundation of Protection Officers

Show Notes Transcript

David Rubens talks to Yolanda and Ash about Global Crisis Management and why there are so many of the same problems all around the world.

He talks about his new book Strategic Risk and Crisis Management,  A handbook for modelling and managing complex risks.

David never disappoints. This half an hour sped by for us.

Security Circle ⭕️ is an IFPOD production for IFPO the International Foundation of Protection Officers

and hello, on this wintery day, we have another episode of Security Circle. The if PODD production for ifpo, the International Foundation for Protection Officers. Ash and I will be joining a very special guest today. They're all very special, really, but some more special than others. This gentleman has been awarded the International Security Journal most influential person for 2022. We want to hear all about that. He is also the executive director of the Institute of Strategic Risk Management. I think you've guessed already. He has created an alumni of. Professionals around the world. Welcome, Dr. David Rubins. Yo-Yos. Thank you very much, and Ash as well. Pleasure to be here. Thank you for that. Awesome. So listen, I'm just gonna kick off. I've known you for a while. It's like having a chat with friends, and I know Ash's got a coffee too. I hope you have. But look, security seems to be something that just sticks to you like glue. Why is that? Tell us where you got involved with all of. It goes back a long way. Um, um, I did my first job, um, in 1981, so that's 40 years ago. Um, and I was, I was team leader on the security embassy in Munich, the Israeli's Security Embassy team in Munich. At the time when both the Israeli and the Jewish communities were under pretty serious attack, both from the Palestine Liberation Organization, which was doing bombing operations all over Europe and the Neo-Nazis in Germany who were quite active. I was picked up and I was asked to, to do some stuff over there, which I did. I was trained by the LA teams at the time, which were the best in the world then, still are, in my opinion. I, I was an adventurer. I'd left home when I was 17 just before my A Levels, as they were. Traveled around the world, did all other stuff. Came back in 1991, so 15 years later. Um, but what happened was, was my dad died basically in 1991, January, 1991, I was in America, came back over here. Um, and I started a small Aikido dojo because I'd, I'd been doing Aikido for five years in Japan, quite seriously. And I heard something on the radio on on, on London Radio, 94.9 charm School for bouncers. Westminster Council was gonna do charm school for bounce. And I thought, that's interesting. I thought I could do that. So I got in touch with them and they got in touch with me and they said, well, listen, write us a two day program. We'll have a look at it. So I went down to have a look at a couple of people who were doing door supervisor training and I thought, they're rubbish. I thought, if these people are making money, I've gotta be with a chance because they're rubbish and they dunno what they're doing. Um, and then what they're basically do was telling war stories. And I said, well, I dunno what I'm doing, but in six months I probably will. And that's how it started. Yo-yo. So in October, 1992, Westminster Council published their first list of door supervisor accredited trainers. And I was on that and I was on that list, MATO Limited. And that's how it started. And I always thought because of the background I'd had, that it's worth doing properly. You can do this properly, you can do this seriously. Um, with with with, with integrity, but also with structure and with framework, you know, there's a professionals about, about it. And I've been very lucky. So since 1992, which is now 30 years, I've basically ridden the wave. I've either been on the first wave, sometimes the second wave of trying to create what we call a professional security industry. Um, and that's how it really started. And I've always, people have always said about me, you know, you have this passion. Right from the beginning when I was running doors, supervisor programs, they said, you have this real passion. And I didn't like that. I didn't, I thought it was unprofessional. I thought, I thought I wanna be considered as professional rather than, than, than than passion. But I still have it. I mean, as you can see, I still have it. I still believe it. I do a huge amount of training. I love, I love training. I, I like training. I like being trained and I like training other people, but, but this is what I bring to the game. This is who I am and this is what I bring to the game. So touching on that, um, David, so you mentioned you spent lots of time in, in America, Israel, um, Japan, and, and Germany as well. and you've been dealing with people from all across the world. Yeah. How does the UK differ from those other countries in terms of strategic risk and crisis management? The thing about an ashes that when you go anywhere as a tourist, it looks nice, doesn't it? You know, every, everywhere looks nice as a tourist. And then when you look into anything, this is lovely. And then you move in and you go, mate, they've got exactly the same problems as we have. I think. I think we have, I think the world has many problems, but I think that in the UK we are particularly bad at strategic risk and crisis management. I just think we are. and you look at things like Covid, for example, or inability to build airports or railways or to look after the nhs. all of those stories of, of basically decline. Those are not inevitable. But that's because we don't do management very well and I think we do not do management very well in this country. And that's including insecurity, risk management, but in general. And the reason is we do not respect management. We put in people because they've been to the right school or the right regiment, or the right university or the right club, or we're the right side or speak with the right sign of voice. And we do. Respect, man. And you see people sort of, you know, the, the O two center or, or, or uh, g4 s for example, with, with the 2012 Olympics as examples or covid. These, these, these, all, all the nhs you know, the fact we're now going through all these strikes now this week, in my opinion, that is bad management. That that should not have happened and that should have been seen him. That's a bad thing to happen, and therefore it's a management. But David isn't, isn't all crisis. Isn't all crisis down to there being a significant failure somewhere in the organizational businesses, processes and procedures that leads to a crisis not being managed very well. Would you? I mean, I've attended one of your courses, brilliant by the way, and it's just nice to be with you for a week, David, to be honest. But is is, is it just simply, you know that businesses haven't got things right and that's why they don't respond to crises Very well. As they were saying, Japanese up to a point. Everything's up to a point, isn't it? Um, so, so the answer of the course is yes, you shouldn't have crisis. And, and most crisis, you know, we think that crisis are sudden and unexpected and most crisis are not suddenly unexpected. You know, they're, they are those that noise you hear in your car or that too, that pain you have in your truth or, you know, or, or that leak in your roof, which you ignore completely. But nevertheless, there is still, um, an understanding sort of some sort of capabil. Crisis management is not magic, and it's not voodoo, it is process management. And if you look at, I mean, I'm sure we're gonna talk about this, but one of the words that that is now sort of the word is, um, resilience. Okay. Resilience. That's it. Resilience. But resilience is not something that happens after an event occurs. You don't become resilience resilient often because you have to prepare yourself to become resilient. You have to pay ahead, you have to prepare ahead, like go to the gym. You don't get fit the day before the match. You have to go to the. And if you look at the, uh, for example, the James ABA report from the House of Lords on, on the the preparedness or otherwise of the UK for a major crisis event. And he was doing a review of Covid and he said we were just not as good as we thought we were. We thought we were good, we thought we were ready. And when we were tested, we were not ready and we should have been. And if you look at the reasons for failures, they're exactly the same every time. You know, you, I mean, you've done the course with me, um, you know, you've done courses with me. One of the things I say is each, each crisis is a unique event, but the reasons for it being a, a crisis are the same every time. You know, they just, they just do not do their job properly. They do not do the thing they're paid for. And, you know, anybody who certainly speak knows that within a few minutes I'll talk about Wiki problems and, and Ritalin web 1973 people or Wiki problems. But the 10th, the 10th principle of Wiki problems, the first nine are very technical, but the 10th principle of Wiki problems is the planner does not have the right to be. If you say you can do this stuff, you have to get it right because getting it wrong has consequences. And we saw that with 186,000 deaths of Covid. And we've seen that in the strikes that we go, which are impacting on people's lives incredibly. It is not a good thing. And so many things, I think they see country in this country we have, we do have a problem with risk and crisis, strategic risk, and crisis management. We don't give it the respect that it, that it deserves or merits. That's my, that's my feeling. Touched on, you mentioned Covid, this one and the two academy. So what can, the security industry do better to prevent such incidents like, um, the two, uh, crash in and the Manchester arena and like you mentioned with Covid as well. So what could the industry do better? Well, the first thing is, You should learn lessons because all of these things are out in the open. These are not secret or esoteric. This, this is not MBA or stuff. This is, you know, this, this is not rocket science, this is basic process management. and you, you look at things like, you know, the, the, the British Airways, you know, it failure or this just right now, um, I think it's, um, and I'm gonna say it's ubs, I think was of the, the bank that's just. There's a report out on the, on the failures of its IT system. And it tried to, it move, it moves its system across to a Spanish system. It didn't work. And they had a massive collapse. You look at the post office, not the post office strikes now, but the post office, uh, postmasters, you know, crisis back 10, 12, 15 years ago when the post office put in a new computer system, which didn't work. And then, You know, people working in the post office of stealing and those people were sent to jail and they were made bankrupt and some committed suicide, some died. And you look at the failures in, for example, the neo neonatal systems and you know, children dying, babies died. Learn lessons. The first thing is, the first thing is Ash. If you said what is the first thing you have to accept the responsibility of risk management, if that's what you are. you have to accept the responsibility, the package that comes with that, because walking away with a bonus or walking away and saying, sorry, that doesn't help, doesn't, doesn't help people. Getting it wrong has consequences. And that's it. You know, that's, and, and that's why you gotta get it wrong. And that's why I think I am passionate about it. Because I, I say to people, you know, doing security is a wonderful thing. It's a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful way to spend your life until the first time you pull out a dead body like there was in Brixton, for example, in a terrible crash that did not have to happen. It did not have to happen. And the first time you pull out a dead body, it changes you from it. It leaves a scar on your soul, which you never lose ever. Yeah. And most of the time, the reason you're putting on a dead. Is because somebody was not doing their job that they should have done. If there's one thing that came out of the Saunders report into Atco State report, but the Saunders report into, into Manchester bombing, that did not have to happen there in other universities. There are other narratives where that did not have to happen, and in order to stop that happening, you don't need the SAS or specs. That's what Mr. Six, you need basic security procedures in place that are maintained and managed effectively over. and that would then have in some way deflected that attack and those 22 people would not. So David, look, I, I guess really you have made a business on there being so many crises around the world and, um, people's inability to be able to manage them properly. You provide excellent advice. We did really get you here to talk about your new book. We know you are a published author already. Tell us about your new book and why is it going to be a critical tool for a security risk professional to. Well, thank you for that yore, much appreciated. Um, yes. So, um, strategic risk and crisis management, A handbook for modeling and Managing Complex Risk. I think the reason it was, and the reason I set up the, IM, I did my, I my, I finished my doctorate in 2015 in strategic risk and crisis management of hyper complex crisis environments. And it became absolutely clear to me that the vast majority of people, I mean, 99.99% of people talking. Strategic risk management, and that's government agencies and the World Health Organization and Deloitte and KPMG and whoever it might be, don't understand strategic risk management. They're talking about, um, enhanced tactical risk management. Cause what? That's what they do. and then they do it bigger and that's fine, but that's not strategic. And so I, I started the i r m and as as you mentioned, that's sort of, you know, found a very nice place for itself in a global market. But my feeling is that the vast majority of people who are looking after strategic risk crisis management have not been given the tools to do so. They're the equivalent of people who can build a 60 meter bridge, engineers who can build a 60 meter bridge and brilliant at building a 60 meter bridge, which is a serious piece of. you can't ask that engineer to build a three kilometer bridge across the bank. That's a different piece of engineering. And what people have been doing is they, they're good security and risk managers and they'd be asking to being asked to do strategic risk and crisis management. And that's not the same thing. You have to be, you have to understand the tools of the trade to do that. Just like if you can build a house, you can't build a 20 story talent block. It's different. And one of the things that's been missing in my opinion, is that the vast majority of people who are doing those, being given those task, Trying to take on those responsibilities, have no awareness or familiarity with the unbelievably rich work, academic work that's been done, done around procedures in crisis management. And the, I think there's a Chinese phrase, so there's a Chinese phrase, a dog snapping at flies. You know, a dog sort of chasing flies. It has no strategy, it has no taxi, it has no shape. It just runs off the flies cause he doesn't catch any. But if you look at people trying to do strategic risk in crisis management, they're basically responding to yesterday's, yesterday's headlines. You know, there's no strategy, there's no form to it. And my feeling is that if they knew more about, and had a familiarity with the academic work around strategics in crisis management, which been going for 50 years, I mean, you know, if you, if you write or research strategic risk and crisis management right now, today, the foundational work was done in the 1970s and some of that before then, and it's still. But if you do have an understanding of familiarity with academic work, it doesn't solve your problems. But what it does do, it gives you structural framework. It gives you a framework to discuss complex issues. And once you have that structured framework, you can then start building from there. So, um, so, and, and, and I felt that I had something to say. I felt there was something, I had something to say, um, that was not being looked off in the market. There are very, very technical a. Papers and, and books, which are brilliant, but have almost no use and value in the, in the real world. Um, and, and I, and I don't think they would be accessible to practitioners. You also have those fantastic, um, leadership books and, and I always talk about Stan McChrystal's books. I like them and I like Stan. I know'em quite well, and I like Stan very much. Um, and those are brilliant. Those are really good and really valuable, but they're basically storing storytelling in my opinion. And, and they don't have that much. They, they, they will, they will have a be guide, but they don't have the structured methodology that an academic perspective brings. So, as, as, as you know, yo yo, you know, when I describe myself, I, I talk with myself as a academic, you know, I'm a practitioner who has, has the academic background as well, or an academic has a practitioner background, which. and I felt that the book had something of value to bring to the market, and I hope it does. So with all the work you've done, for your book and you know, the, the experience that you've had within the industry over the years, what good changes have you seen? and do you think there's still room for improvement? I think the second part, look at the second part. But first, yes, I do think there's room for improvement as we'll. Not be a surprise to you or anybody else? Um, I think there's, what, what I have seen, I, there's, there's been, it's a dichotomy. It's split into two parts. At the top end of the strategic risk and crisis, all security risk management. We have seen the professionalization of this sector in a way that was impossible to conceive of 30 years ago. The idea that your standard, standard risk manager now in the. Or the fire service or in, or, you know, or, or working in the local council would have a master's degree. That was unthinkable. That was unthinkable. So what we've seen now is we have genuinely absolutely seen the professionalization of the upper end of the security mismanagement sector. But if we look at the lower end of the security sector, we've seen zero, we've seen zero movement. Um, you know, it's still basically those, those, those frontline security people are still basically on minimum. You know, doing 12 hour shifts, un, un, un unrespected. Um, they're trying to do a good job. Um, you know, they're, they're, they're not, they're not appreciated. Now, people always ask me, well, if you do strategic risk in crisis management, why do you still talk about, you know, the people on the nine pound an hour, whatever it might be, 10 pound an hour frontline people. It's because we talk about first responders. Those are the first responders. Those are the people, you know, those are the people who would've sorted out Manchester Arena. They're absolutely, those were the people who were there when ba. you know, when terminal terminals go down at the airport, it's not the air crews that get involved. It's those, it's there's security people on, on nine pound 50 an hour who get, get involved and do it. You know, when, when there's an attack on the shard in London, it's the, it's those frontline people. Those are the people. The thing about security risk management is once something goes wrong, it's personal, it's local, and it's now it's human. And we need to, we need to invest in those people because they're a massive, massive resource and they're a fantastic resource. If we look at. Everything in this country closed down except for frontline security. Frontline security kept going and only kept going, but shifted up again. Yeah, but we had, we, we, we had to ask, didn't we to be recognized as a frontline service? and, and that, that was a, in my opinion, a huge mistake. But look, COVID has affected all of us, David, in so many different ways. We are running outta time. We've got one last big question for you, and I know that this is one that Ash and I discussed. We want you to predict what's gonna happen in 2023. Where, what is gonna be the crisis that, uh, is gonna be on the forefront? Isn't that mean of us? Are we being cruel? What do you think is gonna be, uh, at the top of Alyssa 2023? And then we're gonna look to close up? Well, well, that, that time has absolutely gone fast. You're absolutely right. Um, I think, well, first of all, I think you can take, again, two in two parts. The first thing is nobody knows. I mean, if anybody's, if you say to anybody what, what's the situ. 1st of March, 2023. Nobody knows. That's the first thing. But in terms of the general trends, I think we're gonna see, um, some, some large systemic technology failures. Um, and I think we're gonna see the bank system going down, the internet going down. Um, And going, and so could we. What happens is if, if you wanna see if there's a crisis coming towards you, there's three things you look at. You look at first, um, frequency, what are the, what are the signifies of systemic failures or weaknesses? And you have, you have sort of warning signals, which are happening all the time. And we are seeing those more and more frequently. Now, you know, Google's losing control of itself. Facebook's losing control of itself. You know, bank ATM machines, you know, go systems, go offline regularly. Second thing is amplitude and you get a big one, which. Basically re re redefines the scope of it. And we're seeing really big failures. And the third thing is, uh, is, is time to recovery, but it's just taking longer and laboratory recover. Now I think we're gonna see some really serious, um, systemic. Technology failures. I also think we're gonna see a, um, a, an attack. We're gonna see a, a successful cyber attack somewhere, which is gonna take something down. And the third thing, um, I think that at some stage, and, and this has now probably gone back on the agenda because of of Covid, but before Covid, I predicting because of, of pollution and because of, um, of hyper urbanization and, and, and, Too, too much traffic. Um, I said we, we were gonna lose a city. We were actually gonna lose a major city. You know, you're gonna see something like Lagos. The traffic is there and after three days it still hasn't worked, you know, or Rome or Paris. Um, but my, my, my two big ones right now are, um, are a technology failure and, and, and a serious attack. Well, um, good luck everybody. we've done. Thank you so much, David. Look at this point of the, security Circle podcast. Ash and I have given no out to, some of our key people in the network who are just doing a great job. I know that, as has got one, but my no is going to sati arrive because, we all know that she is a trailblazer in respect to the quality, diversity, and inclusivity, and she's been recognized for her new role. As director of Ed and I and welfare. So, it's interesting as well, we have committed her to coming onto one of our podcasts, so expect that coming up hot off the press Yep. Yeah, so mine wants to, Tim Mann, it is, the ongoing work that he's been doing with the Volunteer Police Cadets. And I, did something with him during a few years back and it's really enjoyable and it's good to. Tim and all the work he's doing with the volunteer pleases carry on, and anyone standing out for you. There's two, if I might. First of all, there's one, one in-house. and that's, Danta Fleming and Louis Zelle, who I think, you know, who basically run our women in security group and they've done absolutely fantastic. That's fantastic work. brilliant work over the last year. And the other one is a friend of mine, Dr. Gabriel Schneider. In Australia who's put together a, a, a program called Brazilians, which looks up all these things and says, okay, you know, instead of doing resilience as a reactive thing, Brazilians, how do we, how do we do what, what, uh, ni Nicholas Ni called Antifragility and he's working on a program called Brazilians, which we are sort of backing and supporting, and I think it's making a real difference, you know, in, in terms of, of how we conceptualize what we're trying to do. We've, you know, to go back as to your point, right at the. We've simply gotta get better at this stuff. You know, we've got to get better. We, we cannot start, we cannot keep the level of basic incompetence that we have in place at the moment. Um, it, it's just, it's too wild out there. Um, we need to get better. Yeah. Yeah. Agreed. Well, listen, thank you so much, David. It's been great, hasn't it? Ash? It's been brilliant. I I could do this for another 20, 30 minutes, so, well, yeah. I just feel like, I feel, I feel like yeah, David's time is very expensive. We're very privileged to have you for free Listen, I, I keep saying I've been married for four, for, for 30 years. Four kids in my house, nobody listens. Damn. I say actually wanna listen to, to me, I'm always, always happy to turn up, you know that so, and lemme tell you. So just say I'm in the irm. Yoyo, you were there right at the beginning. I mean, I think you were there quite right, right at the beginning. So thanks for that. And you know, it, it's been a, it's been a great ride for the last few years and I'm looking forward to the adventures that 2023 brings. Hey, listen, I'm always there. I, I'm not, one of the things that I believe in certainly being with if PPO and on the A S I S, international Fiscal Securities Steering Committee, cracky Water Mouth, well that is, but I believe in all of the, memberships working together in harmony, and we have been able to achieve that certainly through the ED and I program. And yeah. Big shout out to Louisa. Big shout out to Danta, uh, smashing Lady. Certainly we're all, um, singing on the same song sheet there. And David, thank you for everything you are doing. If you need me, if you need support of Ifpo, just give us a shout. Uh, we're there to work together, uh, for the better. Good. Certainly. So idealistic, aren't we? How will we ever make the world a better place? we're far too idealistic. Step by step and stage by stage day by day. That's how we do it. That's how we all do it, step by step and by day. Thanks. Thank you. David. Thank you so much for your. My pleasure. All the best to you and to everybody listening and to All the best. Thanks for that. Appreciate it. Brilliant. And we're gonna provide the link to David's new book as well on this podcast. And so don't hesitate if you are in, if you are on the line, just make sure you step in and, and definitely purchase it.