Strategic Decision Support as a Resiliency Building Tool

Strategic Decision Support as a Resiliency Building Tool

As recent events have demonstrated, in a world that is saturated by risk it is those who are able to effectively manage, respond to and recover from critical incidents that will carry a substantial advantage.Recovery in these instances is not a choice; it is a necessity for business continuity and uninterrupted security. The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a new type and degree of risk to an otherwise familiar landscape for many.  The range of potential threats remains wide – protest activity, labour disputes, community uprisings, terrorist threats, global health-related incidents.Regardless, when key decision-makers are empowered with the ability to make confident, informed decisions, they are better able to recognize what is needed to strengthen resiliency, as well as to achieve safety and security in the current environment.


Strategic Decision Support allows adaptation to the constant change and unpredictability in the environment. Moreover, it can help an organization withstand possible disruptions and more rapidly recover from incidents when they do occur. To this end, there is an inherent importance in using Strategic Decision Support to draw on experience and lessons learned. Too often, lessons learned from past events are captured on paper and simply remain there. Regardless of who captures the information – be it agencies, corporations, or municipalities –lessons learned from notable events, crisis situations, incidents at various project locations,or from natural disasters, all play a vital role in heightening future resilience. However, if this knowledge is not transformed into practice, there can be little in the way of progress.


Strategic Decision Support capitalizes on all forms of knowledge to heighten resiliency. It can be applied in both proactive and reactive efforts to gain an understanding of how best to manage the risk environment and make informed decisions. Collecting and analyzing information prior to breaking ground on a new project, for example, can be vital in establishing a baseline for public sentiment about the project, the company, and its reputation.  It can also aid in identifying potential areas of security concern and/or salient issues to the local community that can be used to initiate a dialogue and further communication. Likewise, online threat and activist monitoring can inform on upcoming events, giving advance notice on such things as planned protests, rallies, marches, or opposition to company AGMs.

Similarly, analyzing information following the occurrence of a critical incident can be valuable in a “lessons learned” capacity.Lessons can be learned about the capability of groups to mobilize, the tactics they employ, changes in strategy, and the publicity angles they may frequently use. Consider that for every protest action and for every activist group, Strategic Decision Support may recognize where the threshold lies between peaceful protest and a potential security threat; for every town hall meeting or community engagement event it may identify the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of different security measures and/or various “tipping points” to help recognize when a situation is escalating.

In these ways, Strategic Decision Support can help to make unpredictability more predictable, increasing the ability to prevent, withstand, and quickly recover from a disruption.

We will never erase the risk environment. However, by incorporating lessons learned, current research and experience into Strategic Decision Support, we can ensure that practices and strategies evolve to effectively meet changing circumstances. This combination forms a powerful platform on which to base corporate and security decisions, as well as scale out strategies when needed. Applying Strategic Decision Support in this manner provides another tool in an arsenal of strategies to achieve greater levels of resiliency and apply coordinated, intelligent responses to today’s fluid environment.

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