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GeoffreyGeoffrey Williams, CEO and president, 3Ci Global Solutions Ltd, highlights the importance of advance preparation for effective crisis management, and the benefits of the Ci6 Emergency Management Engineering approach

What are your views on the level of the threat of emergencies and crises facing organisations and companies today in the Middle East?

There are many threats facing organisations and companies in the Middle East, ranging from the refugee crisis to terrorist attacks, and cyber security to climate change. But what if we could change the way we think and manage risk? We judge a lack of awareness and preparation is a big part of why, for example, hurricanes, floods and other calamities leave such chaos behind. A lot of businesses and organisations mistakenly adopt an ostrich management approach. I judge this the real threat to Middle East businesses and organisations, i.e. being underprepared for human-induced and natural crises and disasters,

How can organisations best prepare themselves for an emergency situation or crisis before disaster strikes?

It's perfectly natural to feel a sense of panic when crises occur but, if you do it right, you can lean on your business continuity management (BCM) and disaster recovery programme (DR). Most importantly, you must have crisis management preparation for the direction and structure you need to sort things out. When we researched the reasons businesses and organisations "forget" what to do in the midst of disaster, what really stood out was how many of the reasons listed weren't so much forgetting, as never really having the knowledge in the first place. For example:

• No executive support: without executive support people will quickly forget that there is a BCM or DR programme in place for when a disaster occurs.
• No plans: the organisation has done nothing to promote any sort of disaster response or planning mechanisms and when disaster strikes, there is no known prioritisation of what needs to be activated.
• No testing/validation: Exercising and testing is a form of training, and training will help people identify their roles and build BCM plans and processes. If you never put your plan to the test then you're all but guaranteed to find flaws in the most painful way possible once you encounter real trouble! At the very least, you need to bring the whole crisis team together a couple of times a year and do a dry run through plans for your most predictable crises. In an ideal situation you do everything from tabletop exercises to full-blown simulations involving local safety officials and members of the community surrounding your business.

The better prepared you are, the more you will be able to prevent or mitigate damage from undesirable situations, whatever the size or nature of the emergency.

How does Ci6 bring a new look to emergency management strategy?

Ci6 EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ENGINEERING is the future recipe for ensuring businesses and organisations remain economically sustainable during acts of abnormality, at a time when different types of crises and disasters are on the increase and demand new methodologies to manage their destructive market impacts.

Ci6 is a unique, reverse engineering methodology used to improve emergency planning business processes by utilising tacit intelligence rather than guesswork. It provides a well-planned, streamlined and secure way of keeping businesses and organisations fully working during critical times while safeguarding a more meaningful and profitable future. It is based upon the highly successful ‘Six Sigma’ principle for reducing defects of production to zero. This concept was re-engineered by 3Ci Global specifically to create a highly effective total organisation, business approach to emergency management. (The term ‘emergency management’ includes all areas of fire, security, business continuity, disaster management and brand protection).

Businesses or organisations learn how to analyse in detail every aspect of what is required to make their business fully systematic and powerful during any size or type of crisis or emergency occurring. The process also finds the most cost-effective way through a complicated conundrum and fully equips them to appreciate any new found challenges will be easier to manage than they fear.

Ci6 techniques also provide certification and consulting services to assist businesses and organisations with all aspects of the implementation process, such as determining the right Ci6 tiers for individual training, and how to prioritise identified risks into practical corrective objectives. There are four different tiers of protection provided for each level of a workforce.

The Ci6 methodology is defined by eight PREPARED steps, which stands for Planning, Response, Evaluation, Progression, Assessment, Remodelling, Exercising, Distribution. Once applied this results in more predictable and profitable emergency business processes.

What was the rationale for setting up CMTV Crisis Management Television?

We created CMTV Crisis Management Television to try and get people to enjoy and be entertained while learning about different ways in which they could become better protected during crisis or disaster situations. CMTV was subsequently expanded and become the new CMTV Coast to Mountain Television which now provides a ‘one-stop shop’ top trending channel for multiple sources of free TV shows designed to entertain, inform, educate and engage. These include for example the Apocalypse show which captures crisis and disaster subjects and makes them intriguing to watch and learn from. Our vast schedule of innovative programmess is rapidly growing and provides our viewers with everything from comedy to disaster preparedness or technology to fashion!

Geoffrey Williams will be speaking at the HSE Forum in Dubai from 8-9 October on the subject of ‘Creating order out of chaos – controlling rapidly evolving public safety incidents by stopping crises turning into disasters’.