ldarrylarmstrong phd – drdarryl

1.888.340.2006 – ldarrylarmstrong@gmail.com – www.ldarrylarmstrong.com – drdarryl@aol.com

Active Shooter Planning: 6 Business Continuity Issues that Must Be Considered

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In planning for active shooter table-top exercises an often overlooked area is that of business continuity. How and what do we do to ensure that the university gets back to the business as soon as possible. There are six major issues to consider and that law enforcement officials should collaborate with business continuity planning teams.

First, many administrators, faculty, staff and students fail to realize that when they are evacuated from a building they may not have access to that building for days, if not weeks depending on the nature of the situation. If shots were fired in the building or not, the building becomes a crime scene and appropriate protocols must be followed.

Second, if employees or students are advised they can do telework, what happens if their laptops that are required to access the virtual private network (VPN) remain in the facility and they don’t have access?

Third, even when there is a minimal loss of life, and let’s hope there is none, the psychological impacts on all parties can cause significant absenteeism. Human resources and employee assistance managers must take this into account. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is not uncommon and must be planned for in advance.

Fourth, in the case of functions such as Information Technology Centers, facility heating and cooling operations, etc. facilities and operations that cannot be interrupted does your devolution counterparts know when to assume their support role in an Active Shooter event?

Fifth, recovery time objectives are always problematic. Twelve hours may seem like long enough time to resume business “as usual”, but what happens if a lockdown last for 8-10 hours?

Finally, do your business continuity relocation plans conflict with emergency management/public safety plans and often the need to keep everyone on-site?

Law enforcement, emergency managers, public safety, public relations, human resources, supply chain providers, logistical support and others involved in planning active shooter table-top exercises and planning must have business continuity planners at the table.

L. Darryl Armstrong PhD – www.ldarrylarmstrong.com

TOTAL SCREEN RECORDER – A software we can highly recommend

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A SOFTWARE WE CAN HIGHLY RECOMMEND -

We present our “Golden Eagle Award” for a quality product

As a consultant in the field of crisis and emergency planning and management, a field where we build, develop and record numerous webinars, training and e-learning packages and videos, I am always looking for easier and better ways to develop videos and webinars.

I have searched and used a number of software packages over the years; recently when I had the time to do additional research for an “easy to use product” to capture webinars on screen I happened upon “Total Screen Recorder – Gold Version” available at http://www.totalscreenrecorder.com/

From the outset, I came to the opinion this would always be my first choice for future use. Here is why:

Ease of download and installation
High quality product from the results it provided us from the first use
Remarkably easy to use
Convenience
The options of fixed screen size, full screen
Ability to adjust playback rates
The variety of five output formats
The reasonable price
Totally hassle free screen captures

Simply, as video producers and developers of training, we all have the need to capture the content of our computer screens at some point. With Total Screen Recorder you can create creative and excellent video examples or demonstrations for our own applications. As a crisis and emergency planner, I am now able to rapidly capture breaking news and videos to use in our training programs.

Total Screen Recorder is a compact and affordable screen capture tool that enables you to record the content of your screen, or its specific areas into video files with soundtracks for subsequent playback and distribution.

We especially like that Total Screen Recorder supports 5 capture modes, AVI/WMV/SWF/FLV output with configurable A/V codecs, sneak mode operation, automatic recording at Windows startup, recording timers, hotkeys, recording of the mouse cursor and has plenty of other handy features.

Total Screen Recorder allows you to capture webcam video streams in AIM, ICQ, MSN/Yahoo Messenger, as well as streams from TV cards and web pages. Simply, every video or presentation you see on your screen can be captured quickly and easily!

Total Screen Recorder is an inexpensive, very powerful and flexible solution for screen capturing.

Preparing tutorials and e-learning series can be a time consuming activity specifically when you need to make step by step e-learning modules. Although written tutorials are acceptable when supplemented by video showing/telling all the steps you will it appeals to a broader and more visually-based audience.

Total Screen Recorder helps you to make professional e-learnings by capturing videos. The software has simple, easy to use features. When you start you have a small screen that allows you to set the configurations you choose.

To start, you will define the region that you want to capture; you can select whole screen, or any particular area of the screen.

You then set the configurations for the audio by selecting the audio device and related settings. Make the selection for the video and audio aspects for the captured file with the provided features ‘Encoder’.

Select the Hotkey to Start, Stop and Resume the capturing of video.

Enable or disable the Timer features, if you choose.

Select your file name and set the destination for saving the movie file that has been captured.

You can also hide the program when the recording is going on and the program goes to the system tray for easy access.

We are not computer geniuses and yet we were able to literally install and record our first video in less than 15-minutes!

On a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest we would Total Screen Recorder a 5-plus! We highly recommend this software. Congratulations to the developers, we will look forward to future software from your company.

L. Darryl Armstrong PhD APR CCM CAMT
Accredited Public Relations
Certified Crisis Management
Certified Aggression Management Trainer

1.888.340.2006
Cell 270.619.3803
http://www.ldarrylarmstrong.com
ldarrylarmstrong@gmail.com

L. Darryl ARMSTRONG and Associates
Behavioral Public Relations LLC
455 Hillside Trail, Eddyville, KY 42038
3 Moore Avenue Upstairs/Back Apt. Tybee Island, Ga. 31328

Crisis management must be integrated with a holistic approach Read more: Four Rivers Business Journal – Crisis management must be integrated with a holistic approach

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Prior to the 24-hour news channels, the advent of social media, and an ever-advancing world of mobile technology, the corporate spokesperson during a crisis could control the messages through carefully constructed news conferences.

This is no longer the case with the advent of “citizen journalists.” Organizations that have not yet recognized today’s new media place themselves in serious peril when a crisis occurs.

Today crisis communication is no longer just a corporate communicator’s function. No longer can the PR department write the crisis manual and just arrange for media training of a select few spokespeople. Today, crisis management is much more than just crisis communication during an emergency such as a flood, fire or nuclear mishap event.

A crisis, by definition, “is a revelation, allegation or set of circumstances which threatens the integrity, reputation, or survival of an individual or an organization.” Crises of any kind, be they event or non-event related, threaten the public’s sense of safety, security, values and appropriateness.

When a crisis occurs, actual, potential or perceptual damage to the organization’s brand and reputation will occur. Because the organization is often at a loss to end the damage immediately, the “after shocks” continue to do even more damage.

Therefore, a crisis management plan must account for what we generally think of as those natural or man-made events that require activation of an Emergency Operations Center and for those business crisis that are non-event related.

Statistics show that most business crises today are non-event related.

These are the “smoldering or simmering” situations that create crisis in organizations, with 49 percent of the crises originating from management and 33 percent from employees.

Of these crises, 61 percent were deemed “smoldering or simmering” while only 39 percent were sudden. This means that, in some cases, the organization was truly blindsided by the onset of the event, yet, in other cases, the organization had sufficient intelligence to be prepared and yet had not sufficiently planned to address it.

These crises range among 2012 crisis categories, expressed in percentages:

White collar crime — 16 percent

Mismanagement — 15

Work place violence — 11

Class action lawsuits — 11

Business disruption — 8

Labor dispute — 8

Casualty accidents — 8

Financial damage — 6

Consumer Activism — 4

Discrimination — 3

Other (not listed) — 3

Sexual harassment — 2

Environmental — 2

Whistleblowers — 2

Executive dismissal — 1

Prudent and strategically thinking organizations recognize the need to institutionalize, within all the key business functions, a holistic and standardized approach to handling both event and non-event related crises.

A coordinated holistic approach addresses crisis prediction, issues analysis, prevention and management as a formal part of the overall business planning strategy. Such an approach ensures solid contingency plans as part of business continuity planning.

A Change Management Plan is a key component of this strategy since such an approach requires a change from the traditional model of just event emergency planning. It requires corporate communicators and management at all levels of the business to carefully think through all the various event and non-event crises that the agency needs to be prepared to handle.

Therefore, to be effective and efficient, crisis management of non-events must be embedded into the corporation’s overall management system. Just as an organization has emergency responders within each business unit, they also must have non-event crisis managers as part of the matrix.

Holistic crisis planning, therefore, enhances the capability of the management within all business units, as well as communicators and management at the corporate level, to be better prepared. They will be ready to respond to new and even unimagined non-event risks and to manage the growing number and diversity of stakeholders, many of whom have conflicting agendas.

As organizations become more complex, non-event crisis planning becomes even more critical. Because as the organizations grow, they restructure, merge divisions and must deal with the business of corporate realignment.

This excellence in management approach can only be accomplished through integration of non-event planning as a value-add, standardized and critical component of any emergency planning activity.

When the threat management process addresses event and non-event issues and is integrated within the overall issues management process in the organization, the crisis prediction and prevention capability is noticeably enhanced. This is particularly the case for the “smoldering or simmering” crises referred to above.

Identifying and evaluating as many as possible threats and issues are always the first steps. Yet it is the management and communication of these threats and issues that is critical and most challenging for all organizations, especially when dealing with the non-event issues.

Obviously, not all crises are predictable or preventable. Yet, an effective threat and issues management process, embedded within the crisis management planning structure and coordinated at the corporate level, allows for the organization’s management to potentially foresee, plan scenarios, exercise them, be proactive and then decide to take, treat, transfer or eliminate the threat.

Forward-thinking and progressive organizations are appointing crisis event and non-event managers. These managers are charged with assessing, planning and implementing a standardized protocol and comprehensive crisis event and non-event response and communication system. This system embeds key business functions such as operations, human resources, legal, IT, health safety and environment, sales and marketing, communications, cyber and reputation security as part of the progressive crisis management teams.

Once processes have been developed covering all key business functions, the competency issues of crisis team members must be addressed. This is accomplished in the following three stages:

1. Utilize behavioral and personality style assessment such as use of the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory.

2. Provide training in those areas in which team members will be engaged, i.e. media, social media, presentation skills, dealing with different personality styles, etc.

3. Conduct extensive tabletop or full-field exercising combined with systematically cataloguing and documenting lessons learned and best practices.

Skills, training and professional experience at all levels of the crisis response structure are critical. The response begins with the receptionist providing the telephone response to callers. It includes the leadership and strategic planning skills of the crisis management team and the ability to provide counseling and support to employees, the next of kin and the victims of a crisis. And, of course, communication with the mainstream media is critical, as well as the effective shaping of messages in social media while protecting the organization’s brand and reputation.

Research, and our team member’s 40 years of experience in behavioral psychology and management, validates that the best crisis management team members are chosen and trained according to behavioral suitability and not the function related to the position on the team.

Due to ongoing staff adjustments and job changes in corporations as well as downsizing and corporate reorganization, it is essential to have a comprehensive plan that trains and retrains crisis team members in a systematic and regular manner to account for this turn over.

Many corporations are choosing to establish curriculum based training certification programs to ensure the right people are in the right place properly trained to handle the situation when needed.

The days of a corporate communicator being able to handle a crisis by calling a reporter friend are over.

Crisis communications of event and non-event situations are complex and require standardization across all business units. Embedding the crisis managers into the corporation at all levels ensures that the best decisions are made by having an active ongoing risk and issues assessment protocol. This protocol utilizes tried and proven strategies and tactics that predict and, when possible, prevent crises while managing the issue and the public and stakeholders’ perceptions.

Read more: Four Rivers Business Journal – Crisis management must be integrated with a holistic approach

http://www.fourriversbusiness.com/view/full_story/23118135/article-Crisis-management-must-be-integrated-with-a-holistic-approach?instance=your_business

Written by ldarrylarmstrong

October 13, 2013 at 14:33

Solve problems by involving those who have them

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In 1973, I was fortunate enough to be selected for a position at what was then the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Land Between The Lakes. I had been a newspaper reporter and editor up until then, and I was excited about working in the field of “public relations.”I was chosen to be the Reports Editor, a title that really meant nothing. Reports Editor is one of those arcane titles that the federal government uses to “hide their real intent.” I was in this position from 1973-1979.Looking back, I would say that this job probably taught me more than any of the others.Local people in western Kentucky and Tennessee have feelings that run deep even to this day about TVA. Those people, especially the ones who were forced from their homes for TVA’s national demonstration area in outdoor recreation and environmental education, will never get over it.However, when I was 23, I saw this opportunity as a great challenge. I decided from day one to reach out and engage all members of the public who had an interest in the project, especially the former residents and the business community. I sought to develop working relationships among diverse groups.More than once, management questioned why I spent many extra hours attending meetings of the tourist associations, chambers, economic development committees and the various state agency public hearings.

I may not have been able to articulate it then, but now I realize what the answer to this question was. If you truly want to solve a problem, you must involve the people with the problem in the solution. You must develop meaningful and sustainable relationships with them based on trust.

I took my responsibility of being a “public servant” seriously. I believed then, just as I do today, that all government employees have an obligation to engage the taxpayers (the very people who pay taxes to provide government employees’ salaries) in meaningful discussions to find appropriate solutions to difficult problems.

Many of my colleagues thought and felt, as they expressed to me, that I was wasting my time trying to develop relationships with the very people who wanted TVA to take the proverbial hike.

They were wrong then, and government agencies that still play at public involvement and engagement without meaningful intent are even more wrong now.

Since the taxpayers’ money pays government employee salaries, the taxpaying public has the right to be engaged in helping agencies make the best possible decisions.

Allow me to give you an example.

Recently, I was asked to facilitate a series of public meetings for a federal agency. I quickly determined after the first meeting, a nightmare for all involved, that two things were readily apparent:

- The federal agency didn’t really want a facilitated meeting. Facilitated meetings in my world are set up to bring all the people to the table and keep them there, no matter how long, until an agreed upon path forward is determined.

- The agency really wanted a traffic cop or a moderator for these meetings. The second meeting we moderated, even though I thought it unwise to do. The meeting went well although I voiced my professional opinion, something I rarely do when I am conducting a meeting.

I told the public that we had advised the agency that its meeting model should be changed to a more educational and involvement model rather than just an informational model. An educational model would allow for significantly more public involvement and, at the least, shared assessment of the problem, if not some shared decision-making.

Needless to say, the agency and my former contractor have decided they “really don’t have the funds to have a facilitator.”

Frankly, I am glad they came to that decision. I was going to be forced to walk away from the project anyway, something I have done in the past when agencies tried to fake public engagement by applying only the necessary rules and regulations.

This leads me back to the need to solve the problems by involving the people directly affected.

There are six steps I recommend to truly involve the people directly affected, whether it is a small business or a government agency manager:

- Ask those involved to share the information they want to share, not just the information you want them to share. Be prepared to keep your mouth closed and your ears open.

Ask open-ended questions like, “What else do we need to know that is important for you to share?”

Questions like these not only enable the customer or the member of the public (stakeholder) to vent. It also allows them to be involved in the assessment of the problem.

- Ask them to prioritize information they have shared. Because they are venting, this is their therapy, and you will get a significant information dump. Have them help you figure out the really important information they have shared.

It annoys people with a problem or complaint when you assume you know what concerns them most.

- Ask them for their advice or opinions.

Oh, I know foresters, fishery experts, nuclear specialists and government managers all know what they are doing more so than the public does, However, they (read taxpayer here for government agencies and customer for small business) do have opinions and advice to share.

Being willing to ask for advice and opinions does not mean that you will necessarily take it. This should also be stated up front. However, when you understand their priorities, their values and their viewpoints, a solution can often be created which meets the needs of all parties involved.

- Offer them alternatives.

People are more committed to decisions that they help make. Not only are they committed, they have a stake in the decision and, as such, will help defend the decision, if need be.

In addition, if you are a small business person, you will demonstrate to the customer that you are taking that extra step to satisfy the complaint or meet the request.

When the request can’t be met, for whatever reason, be prepared to offer alternatives.

- Determine the minimum need.

Ask the customer or the stakeholder what he or she would like you to do immediately. This helps to diffuse their anger rather quickly. If this is not done correctly, especially in the government world, outrage can and often does result.

When members of the public become outraged, it often results in unwanted political or media involvement. Don’t believe this? Did you watch the public outrage over the shooting of the unarmed minority teenager in Florida? Or, perhaps you recall the “Occupiers” movement in the larger cities?

By taking some action, you gain some additional time to take care of the greater problem.

- Ask them to provide you some alternative solutions.

Be direct in your request. If you are a small business person say something like, “Ms. Jones, I’m stumped. I’ve offered you all the alternative solutions I can. What kind of solution would you propose?”

Often this makes people realize they are being unreasonable, or at the very least, it lessens the tension and re-engages all parties toward working to a mutually acceptable path forward.

You probably have figured this out by now. Underlying all these actions is your intention to build workable and meaningful relationships.

When you have built meaningful and sustainable relationships, and you have demonstrated that your behaviors match your words (you walk your talk), then your chances of building workable solutions greatly increases. Your willingness to involve the people impacted can make all the difference in solving a mutual problem.

Dr. L. Darryl Armstrong, Armstrong and Associates, is a consultant and counselor. He can be reached at drdarryl@aol.com or 1-888-340-2006 or www.ldarrylarmstrong.com

Strategic Planning Success – Executive Management and the Working Team Must All Engage

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I continue to be rewarded for all the intense and hard work that my client the Kentucky Press Association put into their strategic planning process a few years ago. This week David Thompson, KPA’s Executive Director reported that in a conference he was in that he would be presenting the results of some of that work.

David says,  “… was thinking of you earlier today. Our first session yesterday, followed by two more hours this a.m., was on strategic planning. Obviously, we’re ahead of the game and in checking my notes from 2008 and 2009, so many of the “obstacles and issues” and the “solutions” that were mentioned yesterday by the group, on what lies ahead, are things we discussed/addressed four years ago. Thank you for that. Tomorrow, it’s my turn to talk about the News Content Service. All because of the Strategic Plan!!! It’s a service that has shared more than 24,000 stories and editorials with 74 participating newspapers, since it began October 1, 2009.”

When you have active engagement by all parties in the strategic planning process you can overcome barriers, secure agreement for a mutually agreeable path forward and discover and implement new ideas such as KPA has done.  

And needless to say you can stand up with pride and announce your success!

Congratulations David and team at KPA!!!

Written by ldarrylarmstrong

August 13, 2013 at 16:01

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