Tag Archive for: Resilience

Cybersecurity for Australia’s Critical Infrastructure

Digitisation has transformed our lives by providing boundless economic and social benefits through improved efficiency and productivity. Yet within critical infrastructure organisations, technological innovation has accelerated faster than our ability to secure it.

Strategies to Accelerate Learning

Adult learning is best when it’s self-directed, flexible, shared, experiential and when it involves ‘learning by doing’. The ways that individuals and organisations responded to the impacts of COVID demonstrated the power of adult learning.

What is Organisational Resilience?

A holistic view of risk management in the context of ‘better practice’ is now viewed as ‘organisational resilience’ and is built around a framework that incorporates financial, operational and strategic risk.

Strategies to build resilience in Australia’s national critical infrastructure

Following the recent Government announcement, there is a renewed focus on the ownership and resilience of Australia’s national critical infrastructure. A joint media release with Senator The Hon George Brandis QC stated:

“With increased privatisation, supply chain arrangements being outsourced and offshored, and the shift in our international investment profile, Australia’s national critical infrastructure is more exposed than ever to sabotage, espionage and coercion.

We need to manage these risks by adopting a coordinated and strategic framework. This challenge is not something the Commonwealth can address alone”.

The diverse number of threats and the need for an ‘all hazards’ approach presents significant challenges to owners and operators of critical infrastructure. In 2006 Janellis pioneered an integrated organisational resilience framework with critical infrastructure providers and key elements of the framework continue to be embedded in industries including: aviation; banking and finance; energy; transport; water and government agencies.

Areas of focus:

  • Clarity on the role of the Executive and Board in a crisis, including their role in ensuring the organisation is prepared for an incident, emergency or crisis.
  • Scenario-based planning at the Executive and Strategic level to uncover and mitigate against ‘catastrophic’ risks the organisation may face.
  • Crisis Communications and its effective integration within the crisis emergency and incident management framework.
  • Multi-agency Emergency Management Capability Awareness Programs providing multi-faceted resilience protection for key assets.
  • The effective use of decision support tools for Emergency and Crisis Management Teams to enhance integrated critical thinking and decision making.
  • Exercise development process to facilitate scenario-based exercises that build capability, highlighting areas for improvement and provide assurance to key stakeholders.
  • Resilience reporting to provide assurance to the Executive, Board and other key stakeholders.

The ‘all hazards’ approach to building resilience is growing in awareness and acceptance due to increasingly complex and unpredictable impacts. Developing and maintaining capability is a key requirement for critical infrastructure owners and operators and; non-critical infrastructure organisations who are operating in higher risk industries.

Greater levels of assurance are being sought by key stakeholders that teams and organisations have the capability to respond and resilience reporting is being used to assess the capacity and capability for specific assets and across the enterprise.

For more information on the Critical Infrastructure Resilience Assessment and Assurance Tools or the Organisational Resilience Framework, please email info@janellis.com.au

Organisational resilience in the face of a severe heatwave forecast

There are serious industry concerns New South Wales could be hit with blackouts from tomorrow afternoon due to record high energy demand, as the state grapples with some of the worst heatwave conditions that NSW has ever seen over the next three days.

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has issued an alert predicting a tightening balance between supply and demand with forecast electricity demand to reach around 14,700 megawatts (MW), the highest ever demanded in NSW.

The AEMO said it was working to reduce the need for so-called “load shedding events”, like the one which saw 90,000 properties lose power in Adelaide on 8 February 2017. “Load shedding could occur instantly if the demand supply balance changed rapidly.”

Blackouts could happen instantly to protect supply. The resultant consequence for critical infrastructure owner/operators and other business though, could be catastrophic, resulting in widespread business and operating disruptions.

Business Resilience Advice

The key to effective business resilience in times of severe weather forecasts, such as the one NSW is facing over the next 72 hours is not to be REACTIVE. Organisations and businesses need to be PROACTIVE. Pre posture your readiness and response arrangements and activate your incident, emergency and crisis planning before the potential business impact.

The following key readiness initiatives have been provided to assist your organisational readiness in the face of this potential severe heatwave emergency;

1.    Avoid a delayed organisational response. Ensure relevant staff and managers are aware of your internal notification and escalation triggers and processes that will activate pre determined levels of response, as and if required.

2.    Ensure you have nominated and confirmed ‘on call’ membership of your incident, emergency and crisis teams, and that relevant contact details are current and tested.

3.    Conduct an Operational Readiness Check of both your automated incident/emergency notification systems and Incident Control Centres/Rooms.

4.    Situational Awareness. Convene a team briefing (face to face or virtual) with your IMT, EMT and/or CMT to establish situational awareness of potential environmental and business risks and threats. Develop and agree upon pre response plans to mitigate potential business impacts of excessive heat conditions.

5.    Staff and customer safety is priority. Ensure staff and customer welfare plans have been established to mitigate potential adverse health effects as a result of the forecast heatwave conditions. Reference state agency health alerts and warnings.

6.    Ensure key staff are aware of established business continuity plans and what their associated roles and responsibilities within these plans are.

7.    Reduce single supply point vulnerability. Seek assurance from key critical service providers that they have enacted operational and business readiness plans to ensure business continuity.

8.    Catastrophic bushfire forecast. For those businesses that have close proximity to, or are located on the bushland urban interface, ensure you maintain situational awareness via the accessing of the NSW Rural Fire Service website and Apps.

Finally, it is a lot easier to escalate and activate early, then de-escalate if not required, rather than explain to your key stakeholders why the impact of your business disruption may have been mitigated if only you had acted early.

If you require any assistance, advice or support relating to business readiness and resilience, please have no hesitation in contacting myself on 0498 853 736.

What is the 100 Resilient Cities movement?

100 Resilient Cities—Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation (100RC) is 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.

Janellis became a Global Platform Partner or 100RC in 2016.

Watch this video to learn more about the 100 Resilient Cities Movement…

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

Qantas engaged Janellis to begin a Resilience Improvement Program in 2007. Qantas was 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 us: info@janellis.com.au

Cosgrove leads CBD executives to stirring realisation

Over the last 15 years, Janellis Australia has worked with the Federal Government and a number of organisations operating in high-risk industries such as critical infrastructure, to quantify and build resilience capability.

The still-emerging area of organisational resilience has created unique opportunities to collaborate with some of the brightest and most experienced people in both the public and private sectors. This has included Sir Peter Cosgrove who had recently retired as General of the Australian Armed Forces.

Peter’s insights and experience in the complex area of emergency management, specifically for business leaders, was pivotal in our journey towards developing an international benchmark for organisational resilience.

Inaugural National Emergency Summit tests emergency management plans

In November 2006, Peter was on centre stage at Convergence, the inaugural National Emergency Summit in Sydney designed and facilitated by Janellis.

He was flanked by key members of the Insurance Australia Group (IAG) crisis management team and a panel of experts from police, fire, ambulance, transport and media.

The audience was comprised of several hundred executives and subject matter experts: media crews lined the back of the room. The intensity of the discussions taking place was palpable.

The NSW Government had recently launched the Sydney CBD Emergency Subplan and Janellis had also launched our Guidelines for Business to help organisations interpret the plan and build capability.

Many organisations had told us they wanted to understand “how the Subplan would actually work in practice?” so we set about achieving the ambitious goal of developing a hypothetical scenario to test the current plans and the thinking that surrounded them.

Hypothetical scenario reveals a need for a significant, coordinated response

While developing the hypothetical scenario, we identified key response agencies that would be involved, critical infrastructure service providers, plus a range of organisations that wanted to be involved and who would be directly impacted. With more than 400,000 people identified within the Subplan zones, the participant numbers kept growing.

In considering who would be the best person to lead this landmark event for Australia, there was no better person than then retired General Peter Cosgrove. At the time, Peter spoke of his immediate attraction to working with the business community. This was because of his professional experience in emergency situations, as well as his “profound belief that there is a pressing need for the business community to prepare to cope with disaster”. He commented on our “new reality” and the need to factor the capability to respond to major disruptions into the “highly necessary” column of our busy lives.

The hypothetical scenario involved a gas explosion in a building site within the Sydney CBD and the Subplan included elements of emergency management that were new to Australian organisations, such as SydneyAlert and directions to the public, including “shelter-in-place” and nominated “safety” sites that were different to normal fire evacuation sites.

The discussions were building to a peak point when it became clear that the unique characteristics of the Sydney CBD would require a significant and coordinated response for an emergency event of this nature.

Hypothetical scenario delivers stirring realisation for executives

During lengthy discussions, participants queried relying on building management security staff to interpret the directions to the public, as detailed in the new Subplan.

They raised concerns about how quickly the SydneyAlert messages would be sent out and how organisations affected would actually respond to the shelter-in-place command and what did it actually mean? Business leaders wanted to know how reliable the information provided was and how they should respond to incomplete or conflicting information.

Peter mentioned the yin and yang of media as being both the best source of information and the worst. He also spoke of the skill required to “cut through the noise” and demonstrate critical thinking at key decision points.

As this was the first time the private and public sectors had come together in this format, the magnitude of the discussions reached a defining moment of dawning when business leaders realised that in a crisis event of this scale within the CBD, they could not expect to get a response from a 000 call. They had to become self-reliant.

The highlight of the day was the moment the IAG crisis management team reached their (hypothetical) decision to continue to advise staff to “shelter-in-place” and disregard the information from the media. The conflicting information presented to them captured the complexity of the decisions they could potentially face and; the need for the most senior and most capable crisis management team, to make decisions that would ensure the safety of many people.

In Peter’s own words:

Australia has some of the best men and women leaders of any country in the world who can deal with business shocks standing on their feet and they have already demonstrated this. However, the new set of challenges needs more work. Some organisations are very advanced and responsible – and there are a lot who are not. In running through the hypothetical today, we can start to imagine the dimensions to the problem.

In crisis events, business leaders must take the lead

Both the National Emergency Summit and more recent significant CBD events have highlighted the difficulties in moving large groups of people to safety, the need for timely communication and critical decision-making.

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.

The reality is, 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 to ensure the safety of many people and the continuity of their business.

Executives require a measurable capability in emergency management

Earlier this year, a revision of the 2006 plan was completed and the new Sydney and North Sydney Central Business Districts Evacuation Management Subplan published on the Emergency NSW website. In recent months, Janellis has facilitated another executive-level exercise to build capability to respond to a range of disruptive events, including an event occurring in the CBD.

While there have been many advances in technology in the past decade and the risk profile continues to change, surprisingly, many of the emergency management issues for organisations operating in the Sydney and North Sydney CBD today are the same issues that were raised at the National Emergency Summit in 2006.

Key strategies that are being used and tools that have been developed to address the issues highlighted at Convergence have proven to be effective. Many organisations now have a measurable capability in emergency management at the executive level.  

As the expanded Subplan zones now include approximately 700,000 people, there is an even greater 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 response capability.

To learn more, download the full Convergence Report here.


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