PRESS RELEASE: 100 Resilient Cities and Janellis announce Global Platform partnership

Sydney, Australia100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) is today announcing a partnership with Janellis, which will offer a critical emergency management support to 100RC member cities around the globe.

The emergency and crisis management tools will help align organisations and response agencies to be better prepared for city-wide emergencies and will be available to members of 100RC’s Network, as the cities design and implement comprehensive Resilience Strategies.

Janellis joins a prestigious group of other “Platform Partners” that have committed to helping cities around the world prepare for, withstand, and bounce back from the ‘shocks’ – catastrophic events like hurricanes, fires, and floods – and ‘stresses’ – slow-moving disasters like water shortages, homelessness, and unemployment – which are increasingly part of 21st century life. The Platform Partners are a vital component of 100RC’s efforts, both providing cities with tools they need to build resilience and influencing the market as other resilience tools are developed. Current Platform Partners represent a wide array of private sector, public sector, NGO, and academic community leaders.

“In an increasingly complex and challenging world, cities need partnerships with companies like Janellis to withstand the shocks and stresses of the 21st Century,” said Michael Berkowitz, President of 100 Resilient Cities.By providing emergency and crisis management tools to our network city, Janellis is leading by example, and is helping to build a global resilience movement at a critical time.”

Launching the Janellis 100RC Partnership

“At Janellis, we are driven by building capability in the areas of crisis and emergency management for organisations across the private and public sector; so that they are prepared to respond effectively to a range of potential disruptions. Partnering with 100RC and providing world class tools to member cities will harness our expertise in emergency and crisis management and enhance cities capacity to thrive when experiencing shock and stress.” said Natalie Botha, Managing Director of Janellis.

100RC is dedicated to helping cities become more resilient to the shocks and stresses that are a growing part of the 21st century. Each city in the 100RC network receives four concrete types of support:

  • Financial and logistical guidance for establishing an innovative new position in city government, a Chief Resilience Officer, who will lead the city’s resilience efforts;
  • Technical support for development of a robust Resilience Strategy;
  • Access to solutions, service providers, and partners from the private, public, academic, and NGO sectors who can help them develop and implement their resilience strategies; and
  • Membership of a global network of member cities who can learn from and help each other.

Platform partners are dedicated to providing 100RC network cities with solutions that integrate big data, analytics, technology, resilience land use planning, infrastructure design, and new financing and insuring products. Other 100RC Platform Partners include Microsoft, Swiss Re, the World Bank, MWH Global, Veolia, and Sandia National Laboratories.

 About 100 Resilient Cities—Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation

100 Resilient Cities – Pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) helps cities around the world become more resilient to social, economic, and physical challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. 100RC provides this assistance through: funding for a Chief Resilience Officer in each of our cities who will lead the resilience efforts; resources for drafting a Resilience Strategy; access to private sector, public sector, academic, and NGO resilience tools; and membership in a global network of peer cities to share best practices and challenges. For more information, visit:

About Janellis

Janellis is an enterprise consulting firm working with leading organisations with specialist expertise in organisational resilience; risk, compliance and assurance; crisis and emergency management.

Janellis have developed, an emergency management collaboration between the NSW Government, response agencies and the private sector. The site is designed to help prepare communities within the Sydney CBD for a city-wide emergency.

The Janellis crisis management and resilience tools have been embedded in organisations across many industries in countries including Australia, Canada, China, India, Italy, Japan, New Zealand and the USA.

The 100 Resilient Cities Global Platform Partnership provides crisis management tools to member cities around the world. The tools are particularly valuable for cities with significant risks and vulnerable communities within those cities.

  • Janellis contact: Hayley Parker (; +61 414 580 707)
  • 100 Resilient Cities: Andrew Brenner (; +1 646-612-7236)


4 Simple Steps to Engage Key Stakeholders

Effective stakeholder engagement is at the heart of executing strategy well and most successful leaders have mastered this skill.

For some, this mastery is intuitive and for others it is consciously developed through a strategic and systematic approach to stakeholder engagement.

There are a number of different stakeholder engagement frameworks and our simple and holistic approach includes the following 4 steps:

  1. Who are my key stakeholders (and who are they not)?
  2. What are they currently thinking, saying, feeling or doing?
  3. What do I want them to be saying, feeling, thinking or doing?
  4. What strategies can I use to better engage them?

1. Who are my key stakeholders?

If you ask someone who their key stakeholders are; they will usually be able to mention a few names of people who immediately come to mind. Most of us can manage some stakeholders very well, some of the time, but the art and science is effectively engaging with all of them, even the difficult ones.

Having a view of all of your key stakeholders is an important starting point for effective stakeholder engagement. In some instances there is merit to being open and inclusive when considering stakeholders, other times it is important to target who you need to engage with. The most demanding and vocal stakeholders may not be the most important ones and so it’s important to be clear on what priority they are in the context of your broader objectives.

2. How engaged are they? What are they currently thinking, saying or doing?

The positive aspect of difficult stakeholders is that by the time you’ve classified them as ‘difficult’ you have at least understood where they stand. Stakeholders who don’t let you know their levels of engagement can be harder to identify and influence.

Stakeholders will give you clues about how interested, engaged, supportive, active, motivated, indifferent or hostile they are by their behaviours, or lack of them. Having insight into what they are thinking, saying or doing will give you important information to work with.

Key ways to establish their level of engagement is to observe their behaviours or ask them how they are feeling or what they are thinking. Once you know their level of ‘engagement’ you can start to consider how big the gap may be.

3. What do I want them to be thinking, feeling, saying or doing?

Stakeholder engagement focuses on the human element of change and getting people to adopt new behaviours and to think and feel differently.

If we want stakeholders to be involved or to complete a certain task a new way, we need to be explicit on what those behaviours are.  If we want them to feel assured, empowered or confident, we need to know that it is the intent.

For example we may want a key member of our executive leadership team to:

Do: Promote a positive message about the program (at a certain time, place or way).
Feel: Confident in the capability of the team and assured that risks have been identified and managed.

4. What strategies can I use to better engage them?

Stakeholder engagement is often thought of as a single step from ‘not engaged’ to ‘engaged’ but usually the process is more gradual.

Stakeholders have key questions in their mind when you are asking them to engage. Questions may be: “What are you offering or asking of me; What is the benefit if I do or risk if I don’t; Why should I believe you; How will my personal experience be different as a result?”.

Stakeholders need to have a reason and a framework to do things differently and there are a number of ways to change behaviour:

  • Engage in progressive dialogue
  • Develop a communications strategy and formulate strong messaging using visual tools and story-telling techniques
  • Communicate persuasively

There are many tools and techniques that can be used to facilitate progressive dialogue and engagement and they may be a combination of: visual aids; multi-media; one-on-one meetings; workshops; forums; social media; surveys; newsletters; web tools; reference groups; scenario based activities; hypotheticals and experiential learning sessions.

Effective stakeholder engagement will create alignment, provide clarity and enables teams to perform well.  

Interactive and challenging activities that connect emotionally are the most powerful ways to engage. Levels of engagement are fluid and maintaining appropriate levels of engagement requires creativity and effort.

If you are not yet managing your key stakeholders strategically four simple steps are:

  1. Create a document to capture the key stakeholder groups, people within those groups.
  2. Develop a structured set of questions to gather the key information on what they are doing or how they are feeling, what they may be concerned about and what their expectations are.
  3. Analyse the information gained against what you want levels of engagement you require and what you want them to be saying, thinking, feeling or doing. Be as specific as possible.
  4. Develop a persuasive stakeholder engagement strategy that uses visual tools and story-telling capability to involve, interest, motivate, inspire and retain them.

This content is drawn from our 1-Day Stakeholder Engagement and Influencing Workshop. If you would like to register for a workshop visit our Events page or for a copy of our more detailed Stakeholder Engagement Guide email

Is your organisation prepared for a CBD-wide emergency?

The need for CBD stakeholder groups to align and build a coordinated response capability has never been greater.

In 2015, the NSW Government updated the CBD-wide emergency management arrangements for organisations operating in the Sydney and North Sydney CBD.

These changes now demand that all CBD business leaders and property managers understand their new responsibilities – and crucial role – in responding to a city-wide emergency.

To help these groups interpret the new plan, and it’s impact on business, an online resource was launched jointly by Janellis and NSW Police in December 2015.

Leaders are now asking these questions with regards to a CBD emergency:

– Does everyone in the organisation understand their role in a CBD-wide emergency?
– Do we have confidence in our capability to respond?
– Are our plans aligned with the government’s and our property managers’ plans?
– Will we be able to coordinate our efforts in an effective way?
– Are we compliant with the Australian Standards and relevant regulations that underpin our response capability?
– Can we provide assurance to our key stakeholders and regulators that we have it covered?

Emergencies by their nature are challenging to respond to. CBD emergencies have additional levels of complexity including large numbers of people in high-rise buildings and a heavy reliance on transport infrastructure.

Dependencies between businesses, facilities managers, emergency services and property groups all need to be considered. Organisations must be confident that plans are aligned, CBD risks considered and teams responsible have the knowledge, capability and tools they need to be effective in their response. The need for these key CBD stakeholder groups to work together to build a coordinated capability has never been greater.

How can you be assured of your CBD Emergency Management capability?

To help businesses leaders answer their critical questions, build their CBD emergency management capability and provide assurance to key stakeholders Janellis have developed the City Resilience Capability Review for businesses.

The City Resilience Capability Review identifies gaps that require immediate attention, as well as ‘better practice’ approaches that can be applied more broadly across the business.

Our unique approach:

  • builds on investments already made in the areas of emergency management preparedness
  • creates alignment with specific CBD emergency requirements
  • ensures integration across all incident, emergency and crisis management planning; and
  • delivers confidence to all key stakeholders involved on their capability to respond.
CBD Response on multiple devices

CBD Response Digital Platform

We review a collection of relevant documents, conduct field inspections of CBD sites and have one-on-one meetings with nominated stakeholders. We specifically examine and assess the integration of the key requirements within CBD Response against your emergency management plans and procedures.

How have other businesses used this approach to create alignment?

By understanding the requirements set out in CBD Response and initiating a City Resilience Capability Review, businesses have gained confidence and assurance of their response capability in a city-wide emergency scenario.

The reviews have given them a roadmap to ensure that:

  1. Responses will be coordinated;
  2. People will be safe; and
  3. Impacts to the business are minimised.

Why Janellis?

  • Janellis are experts in the niche area of CBD emergency management and city resilience. We have specialised in this area for over 10 years helping complex organisations align, integrate, test and assure their emergency, crisis and organisational resilience capability.
  • In 2006, Janellis first developed the ‘CBD Emergency Management Guidelines for Businesses’ in collaboration with the NSW Government that received a State and National Award from the Attorney General’s Department.
  • In December 2015 Janellis partnered with Dexus Property Group to facilitate the launch of CBD Response with key representatives from NSW Police, NSW Police Media and Transport for NSW, held at the Sydney Chamber of Commerce.  The session was held to raise awareness of the new plans and the tools available for business leaders.
  • Janellis consultants have a diverse range of skills and experience across the spectrum of emergency and crisis management and all have over 15+ years experience in working with complex organisations and government agencies.

For more information on our capability and expertise in this area please follow the links below or contact Jonathan Durnall – for more information.

Crisis teams harness shared thinking via new digital tools

Digital technology is a powerful enabler for collaborative critical thinking particularly where teams are mobile and need to make high-stakes decisions, often with very little notice and under time pressure.

Previously we have worked with executive leadership teams to help build their capability to respond to a range of known and unknown risks that the organisation face.

As with most leadership teams we work with, they already have an impressive and diverse range of skills and experiences.  These sessions again highlighted, that leadership styles may be unique and risks between organisations varied but the majority of executive leaders already have strong critical thinking capabilities.

Some leaders demonstrate their critical thinking skills in very direct and overt ways, clearly ‘cutting through’ to identify the key issues and making strong decisions. Others do this in more collaborative and subtle ways but; the majority of executive leaders and emerging leaders have critical thinking as a core competency.

Shared critical thinking

One of the challenges facing leaders who find their organisations in a crisis ‘scenario’ or real event is that their individual and collective critical thinking skills are put to the test.

Time is a key factor and information is often incomplete and key decisions need to be made under pressure. If an event has involved the media, often there is added pressure with a high degree of mis-information as well as vital information that needs to be verified.  Teamwork and leadership are essential and success relies on all members of the team operating effectively.

Some executives move from ‘business as usual’  into ‘crisis’ mode seamlessly and are able to operate intuitively and effectively, others feel like they have “a blank sheet of paper”, not sure how to blend their own style or approach into these high pressure and usually high-stakes situations.

Tools to enable critical thinking

To enable all members of the team to be effective under pressure we coach teams using a decision support tool that facilitates ‘shared critical thinking’.

Key elements include: identifying the facts and the assumptions of a situation; evaluating the information as a team; understanding the impacts across the organisation and considering a ‘most likely’ and ‘worst’ case perspective; prioritising, making decisions and developing an effective response strategy.

The tools enable the team to challenge assumptions, to ask the right questions and to hypothesise in a unified way that draws upon their combined experiences , to develop the best possible response strategies.

Embedding critical thinking using digital technologies

Whilst the concept of shared critical thinking is not new for Janellis we have recently taken our tools on-line and are training executive teams using a digital solution.  Teams are coached using  ‘experiential’ style training and this provides clarity on what critical thinking is, how to build it and how to measure it.

crisis management digital tools - checklists

Crisis management digital tools – online checklists

Having the the tools available in a digital format allows for a more interactive, dynamic and robust exchange of ideas in ‘real time’ as new information becomes available.  The team can review their progress and produce a ‘common operating picture’ that reflects their shared understanding of the situation, its impacts across the organisation and their agreed strategies.

The value of critical thinking more broadly

As the maturity in capability builds at the executive level it becomes clear that the effectiveness of the crisis management team is very likely to be dependent on individual and shared critical thinking capabilities of others within the organisation. The tool is particularly valuable for teams where the critical thinking skills are not yet ‘honed’ but where the discipline of verifying information, understanding consequences and developing solutions is essential.

Shared critical thinking will be a challenge for any team in a crisis situation and access to the tools creates alignment, builds confidence and provides assurance to key stakeholders.

If you are interested in critical thinking, crisis management coaching for executives or the digital tools, please contact us as this is an exciting area that continues to evolve.

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Building resilience in a city that never sleeps

“Where sustainability aims to put the world back into balance, resilience looks for ways to manage in an imbalanced world.”

In early January this year I was living and working in New York city, albeit briefly.  The main purpose of the work was to gain insights and share experiences related to organisational resilience and city-wide resilience.

Like many cities in the world New York has experienced a number of significant disruptions and continues to face a range of known risks and emerging threats.  Within a short time of being in the city it became clear that a ‘planning and preparation mindset’  has become a way of life for people living in the city and organisations operating in the city.

The preparation mindset has been enabled by bringing some of the brightest minds together and ensuring alignment between response agencies, private enterprise and individuals; all working together to ensure that they are prepared to respond to a range of risks.

Aside from being a landmark city, New York  is now one of the leading cities in the world committed to becoming more resilient.

Why build resilience?

Many  events have occurred within New York that could have been the catalyst for the city to shift the focus onto building resilience but it was Hurricane Sandy, that resulted in the death of 43 people and US$19Bn in damage, that brought the need to build resilience into the fore.

On November 15, 2012, Governor Andrew Cuomo convened the NYS2100 Commission to examine and evaluate key vulnerabilities in the State’s critical infrastructure systems, and to recommend actions that should be taken to strengthen and improve the resilience of those systems.  The findings were detailed in the NYC2100 Report.

I read the report at the time that it was released, as it was one of the first of its kind on city focused resilience around the world.  Another interesting article published in the New York Times at the time was called Learning to Bounce Back: Forget Sustainability its about Resilience.  The article peaked my interest as resilience was not yet a mainstream topic and sustainability had far greater awareness, investment and relevance than resilience.  The article has some great quotes including the one at the beginning of this article.

Developing a preparation mindset

Since the findings of the NYC2100 report were released, signification investments have been made and on June 11, 2013, the City released “A Stronger, More Resilient New York”, a 430 page document that seeks to learn from past events, understand the risks that the city faces as well as actionable recommendations both for rebuilding communities impacted and increasing the resilience of infrastructure and buildings citywide.

100 Resilient Cities 

Judith Rodin President of the Rockefeller Foundation was Co-Chair of the NYS2100 Commission.    In 2013 the Rockefeller Foundation pioneered the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC), dedicated to helping cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges that are a growing part of the 21st century. 100RC supports the adoption and incorporation of a view of resilience that includes not just the shocks—earthquakes, fires, floods, etc.—but also the stresses that weaken the fabric of a city on a day to day or cyclical basis.

The 100RC began working with the first group of 32 cities in December of 2013. In 2014, they received 330 applications from 94 countries for the second cohort.   Sydney is now one of the 100 Resilient cities.

New York, like many cities in the world, is an enormously complex and vibrant city that is vulnerable to a range of potential disruptions but the preparation mindset, the alignment between individuals and organisations and the investments being made, all contribute to building confidence and resilience.

Back in Australia we have also had a number of resilience initiatives underway and the Federal Government has done a great deal in the area of resilience over the past decade, particularly with critical infrastructure providers.   Infact it was our  now Governor General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) who said back in 2006 that “Australia has some of the best men and women leaders who can withstand business shocks standing on their feet” but that we needed to factor into our busy lives the “capability to deal with major disruptions and to develop a preparation mindset.”

If you are responsible for, or interested in building resilience I highly recommend reviewing the two reports and one article referenced in this post or you can contact me directly via

Pass me those crisis glasses

In facilitating crisis management training with executive teams, it would be fair to say that their subject matter expertise, managerial and corporate disciplines are well honed and unquestioned. They are responsible for, and well attuned, in ensuring their ‘day to day’ vertical line management, their ‘pillars of excellence’, are effective and productive.

I have however, on more than one occasion, been asked by the CEO or the COO why then, do we see some of these astute businessmen and women falter and struggle in an environment of simulated crisis planning and response mode? My response is simply; “they just need to change the lens in their glasses.”

When these organisations are in Business As Usual (BAU) mode, these executives manage, lead and make decisions through a lens of governance, approvals, checks and balances, utilising complete and validated information and not dictated (in most instances) by the burden of immediacy of time“They have their business management lenses in.”

However, irrespective of the origin of the crisis, whether internal or external, once declared, the crisis leadership team convenes. Day to day vertical line management transitions into horizontal team management, a ‘beam’ of organisational leadership. The business management lens is removed and the crisis leadership lens is replaced. The ‘crisis response prism of lights’ is now refracted into a spectrum of clarity, objectives, and actions.

Through this new lens, crisis leaders should be able to resist the strong urge to reach into their organisations to provide tactical advice, which we often call ‘leadership compression’. Where before these executives required certainty of information and intelligence, now they will utilise incomplete and dynamic information filtered through the crisis lens to inform key actions and decisions. The 80/20 rule often becomes the principle of the moment. Stakeholders that would be interacted with in normal day to day business are now re-prioritised through this lens into a strategic crisis stakeholder hierarchy where escalation, notification and communication frameworks may be the key to reputational saviour, or catastrophe.

Situations and problems that in a normal environment would be addressed with an obvious and available technical solution, will now, looking through the crisis lens, demand adaptive approaches to problem solving and bold action to create opportunity in what can be an ambiguous environment.

I have found that these are the times, where business executives transitioning into the crisis management team, often have that cognitive difficulty in coping with complex, multiple and competing issues when under pressure. This is not a question of competence, but purely that the human brain is not wired for identifying the truth and pathway amongst all the ‘white noise’ in a time critical period. It needs a special tool; a Decision Support Tool, to help decipher the facts, evaluate the current and potential impact, and develop a strategy to mitigate or control the crisis.

This is where crisis and emergency management professionals can affectionately be termed organisational optometrists. They have been trained, postured and deployed wearing the lens of crisis and emergency response, utilising a decision support tool to execute their plans, bringing normality to uncertainty. These emergency management professionals essentially assist with the ‘fitting’ of crisis lenses.

The trick though is this. Business executives cannot be expected to wear these lenses day in day out in their normal functions and roles, however upon the declaration of a crisis, they should be confident and trained to reach into the top draw, and fit these lenses.

Janellis is an enterprise consulting firm working with leading organisations across many industry sectors and government agencies. We help organisations execute their strategy and are specialists in transformation and change management; organisational resilience; risk and compliance; crisis and emergency management and portfolio and program management.

CBD Response leads the way

Significant events have occurred within Sydney’s CBD Zones in recent years. They have highlighted the difficulties in moving large groups of people, the need for rapid communication and the reliance on key decisions to be made by business leaders.

If you work in the Sydney or North Sydney CBD and you are responsible for the safety of others, you have a role to play in preparing for a major emergency.

New Role for Business Leaders in CBD Emergency Management

In the event of an emergency in NSW a ‘significant and coordinated response’ will require businesses, government, critical infrastructure companies, service providers and the broader community to work together.

Organisations operating within the CBD cannot rely on emergency services agencies and building managers alone to ensure the safety of their staff and the continuity of their business.

In an emergency, business leaders may be faced with incomplete or conflicting information. The complexity of an effective response requires the most experienced and capable leaders to make decisions that could affect the safety of many people and the continuity of their business.

In order to successfully work together business leaders need to be aware of how the police, the other emergency services and the local authority will respond.

New challenges lead to a new plan and revised requirements for business

In June 2015, NSW Police published the new Sydney and North Sydney Central Business Districts Evacuation Management Subplan [Subplan]. You can view the full plan here.

The key changes to the plan are:

More than ever there is a need to ensure that organisations operating within these zones are self-reliant, that they understand the key components and concepts of the Subplan – at an executive level – and that they have exercised and tested their capability.

CBD Response helps organisations get prepared

CBD Response has translated the NSW Government’s plan specifically for businesses operating in the Sydney CBD Zones. It provides all the information and tools organisations need to get prepared and be assured on their readiness and ability to respond to a CBD-wide emergency.

It has been designed for business leaders, business response teams, property managers, building owners plus audit and risk professionals.

If you are unsure of how well aligned your capability is to these guidelines please use the Assurance Assessment Tools to check that your organisation has the ability to respond to a CBD-wide emergency.

If you work in the CBD and are not aware of your role in an emergency or the key concepts within this site we recommend you complete the Assurance Assessment for Business Leaders on that page and forward the results to the most appropriate person within your organisation.

For more information on CBD emergency management reviews and health checks please contact Janellis.

Creating a Business Resilience Vision for Qantas

Janellis were engaged by Qantas to begin a Resilience Improvement Program in 2007. Qantas were one of the first companies to fully embrace the concept of Organisational Resilience and to make major investments into improving their resilience capability.

Qantas selected Janellis on the basis of our Enterprise Resilience Model that incorporated four key areas of Risk, Readiness, Response and Assurance. The program objectives included aligning and embedding key tools across the business.

Qantas now has a resilience capability that has been robustly tested and applied as part of their ongoing business operations.
Qantas have won the Australian ‘Risk Enterprise of the Year Award’ recognising the enterprise that has most successfully integrated risk management to business partner status within their organisation, making it an integral part of organisation-wide strategy and process. Significant disruptions to their business have resulted in Qantas as now being regarded as having a world class capability in crisis management.

The Janellis tools that Qantas have been using for the past ten years are also embedded in a number of other complex organisations in other industries.

Chief Risk Officer, Qantas:

“I would like to thank Janellis who started this journey with us. We may not have been the easiest Client to have worked with but you stuck with us and we appreciate that. We are grateful for the opportunities to continue to build our resilience by working with our critical suppliers and other leading Australian companies”

For more information, please contact Harrison Orr at