In this changing landscape of almost infinite channels of communication flow, a hunger for salacious news over facts, and the merging of personal/public/professional lives, the risks that employees represent to their organizations can rise to astronomical levels when accounting for liability, cost and distraction. Situations such as former employees using social media to throw organizations into the spotlight (or “under the bus”), compromising the brand and the profitability of the organization, not to mention the longevity and legacy of the founders, executives and managers.
Let us be clear: employees are not inherently your enemy. However, they do represent a very real threat that, if mishandled, can turn your employee into someone who behaves very much like the enemy. The problem is, when organizational leaders are identifying risk, there is an obsession with scanning the horizon for danger while failing to look over their shoulders at their own troops. If you wish to neutralize threats to your organization, you must possess the courage to look within your walls and learn the leadership skills to develop and deploy a targeted pre-emptive strike before it’s too late.
When most organizations analyze risk they focus primarily on threats that are clearly definable, quantifiable and measurable, and most always associated with external factors. The nature of these threats usually include economic, natural, legal, political and financial forces. Here are some examples of common “external threats” for different types of organizations (see if any of them look familiar):
Organizations are typically focused on market fluctuations; competition and consolidation; changes to federal, state and local regulations; mergers and acquisitions or divestitures; international operations; new products and services development; intellectual property infringement; economic conditions; attracting or retaining personnel; pricing pressures; margins; cost cutting; legal proceedings; cyclical revenue; product liability; quality and safety issues; supplier and vendor concerns; inability to acquire capital or financing; and predicting customer demand.
When was the last time you thought about the Trojan Horse? You know, the one that the Greeks left for the Trojans following ten years of battle? The Greeks, appearing to give up, sailed off into the distance and the Trojans gleefully rolled that big prized horse inside their gates. We all know how that turned out. The Trojans lowered their guard, went about their business, and out of the horse came the rest of the Greek army, who could now level the city of Troy from the inside out!
You ever hear that story and wonder, “How could they not have guessed that horse was packed full of danger? Why didn’t they at least examine it a bit more closely?. Seems kinda obvious, doesn’t it? Well, consider this…each of your employees has the potential to be a Trojan Horse inside the gates of your organization. All the baggage they carry with them is inside that horse, waiting to emerge and take you down the moment you stop paying attention.
Learn how to assess your organization’s risk by visiting Pre-Emptive Strike Consulting (Pre-EmptiveStrikeConsulting.com)