The Great Conversation
The Mind, Culture, and Readiness of Risk and the Business

The Mind, Culture, and Readiness of Risk and the Business

July 1, 2022

We need a wider lens in business. We have been trained to think in terms of specialization and we have created silos of information that serve our interests. But the platform for widening our lens is now available. And more than ever we need that lens.

With that said, if we scrape the top layer of the news, we are dealing with illness as a threat, disinformation as a threat, privacy vs. safety and security as a threat, and the proliferation of actors who are inspired to action by the fear of change promulgated by the social and public media. I needed to speak with someone who understood all of these things and is helping executives reassess how they identify, manage, and respond to threats to their people, processes, tools, and organizational outcomes.

I could not help myself. When I have a chance to pick the brain of a person who has the training and experience as a licensed psychologist, certified health service provider in psychology, and as a state-certified police officer (now retired from law enforcement), I know I am going to get a unique perspective leveraging the field of forensic & law enforcement psychology and the work in behavioral threat assessment & management.

Since 1993, Gene Deisinger has served as the director of threat management for major organizations. He has provided training and consultation on behavioral threat assessment and management issues to a range of schools, colleges, universities, corporations and non-profit organizations, governmental, military, intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

He also provides training and consulting to law enforcement agencies regarding leadership and organizational development, crisis management, preparation and response to active threat incidents, response to persons with mental illness, hostage/crisis intervention, and post-incident trauma response.

We have a great conversation; wide ranging, with a thread connecting the subjects we touched on: to the degree we are investing in the purpose-driven connection between our stakeholders lives and our business, lies the strength and resilience of our organization.

Protecting at the Speed of Risk

Protecting at the Speed of Risk

July 1, 2022

You only represent 20% of the population, but you are the most targeted religious group in the country with over 60% of the hate crimes committed against your constituency. You can’t sit on the sidelines. You must be engaged with the right people, process, technology, and partners if you hope to provide protection in the “most complex, dynamic, risk environment ever”.

We engaged the Principal Deputy Director and COO, Patrick Daly of the Secure Community Network (SCN) to help us understand what the threat is and how to mitigate and respond to it.

SCN is The Secure Community Network (SCN) is the official safety and security organization of the Jewish community in North America. It provides Intelligence and Information Sharing, Facility Assessments, Physical Security Solution Support, Training, Exercise and Education, a partnership with Law Enforcement, and Incident Response and Crisis Management.

Patrick is responsible for strategic planning, organizational management and Board engagement of the official homeland security initiative for the American Jewish Community. He oversees coordination and engagement between federal law enforcement and over 200 organizations. SCN is recognized by U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a national model.

We have a great conversation with a resolute and passionate advocate for the security and safety of this country and his stakeholders.

The Innovation Hub for Loss Prevention and Security

The Innovation Hub for Loss Prevention and Security

July 1, 2022

Our world operates on a highly leveraged business model that depends on the belief in a civil society. A society of agreed upon values doesn’t require police presence in every store and stoplight. There are laws that are respected and adhered to by an engaged citizenry.

But what happens when this breaks down? Where there is intentionality in the crime, you have a mindset and a process that you can study, patterns you can document, and technology to help your drive predictability and post-event discovery.

Dr. Read Hayes is a research scientist at the University of Florida as well as the Director of the Loss Prevention Research Council (LPRC). The LPRC is made up of researchers, retailers, solution partners, manufacturers, law enforcement professionals and many more who believe developing a community will lead to a safer world.

The Loss Prevention Research Council was founded in 2000 by leading retailers and Dr. Read Hayes in an effort to support the evidence-based needs of loss prevention decision-makers. Founding retailers include Target, Walmart, OfficeMax, CVS, GAP, Home Depot, Beall’s, Barnes and Noble, and has grown to over 70 major retail chains today. To date the LPRC has conducted over 300 real-world loss prevention research projects for retailers and partners.

Dr. Hayes and I discuss the purpose and strategies of the ecosystem the LPRC has developed, its findings and impact, and his work in developing a framework for early detection. Although the focus is retail, he knows his research, findings, and the proof of concepts he is developing with leading technology providers will translate into the smart buildings and cities of the future.

The Power of Story for your Organization and your People

The Power of Story for your Organization and your People

July 1, 2022

Vitaly Geyman had a great conversation with us several months ago that we called “The Organization is not a Machine; It is a Person”. We explored the traditional view and practice that led to the organizations being treated like a machine. Machines are meant to be programmed, streamlined, and optimized. Efficiency and predictability are the core principles. Management’s key responsibility is the machine’s design and programming while the employees’ role is to contribute their efforts according to the machine’s design.

Vitaly suggested a wider perspective where we view the organization as a living system. We see that it operates in the context of an ecosystem of interdependent entities working together for the good of the whole. We see how it can learn and adapt to its environment. Going beyond a living system perspective and viewing it as a living being shifts our focus and opens up new possibilities. We see it as a creative force contributing to our world. We see it as one who can learn and adopt, sense and respond. We see it as a living person with a soul, a heart and a personality to be nurtured and developed. We help it grow in capability and maturity so that it can reach its fullest potential.

In this conversation we explore how he works with clients. As a business strategist myself, I recognize the power of his approach: To learn the past, present, and future story that is being told by the leaders and the prevailing culture and then to integrate this story into the operational fabric of the organization. Stories create alignment if especially if you allow your people to contribute to the story. The chapters of innovation that could be written and released may change the world.

Enjoy the conversation.

Integrating ”Security and Safety” into the Fabric of the Business

Integrating ”Security and Safety” into the Fabric of the Business

May 31, 2022

Tyson Aiken is a former executive at Nike with an intelligence background from the CIA. He left Nike and went on a journey exploring different opportunities in the commercial marketplace. When I spoke with him before and during his “sabbatical”, I discovered that his purpose and passion could never be realized in a typical security executive role. I felt he needed to be ‘at the executive table’, like many of his peers but with one striking difference: he needed an organizational model anchored with core values and a mission he could believe in.

He found one with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), a global company with over 4,000 people, many who are thought leaders in their field. Navigating risk and the opportunity to save endangered species and the world, WCS could be classified as a “security and safety” organization for animals and its people.

This great conversation explores .com, .gov, and .org business models, the way growth and profit can obstruct good judgement, and the integration of the business model with a data driven security model.

Enjoy the conversation!

The Tail Wagging the Dog

The Tail Wagging the Dog

May 31, 2022

CEOs manage risk and opportunity. How well they do that determines their path to value.

So, who should be at the table helping the C-level team navigate risk and opportunity? What data should be collected, organized, analyzed, and communicated? How should it be contextualized to meet the needs of each departmental function? (HR, Legal, Finance, Operations, etc.).

Once these questions are answered you suddenly realize that the success of the next generation risk, resilience, and security leader will depend on their ability to grasp how the digital transformation is positioning them for a strategic role in the organizational outcomes of the business. The tail (Security) may be wagging the dog (The Business) very soon… a paradigm shift.

We have a great conversation with the founders of a protective intelligence platform, Lukas Quanstrom and Tom Kopecky of Ontic, that have recently articulated this vision and is actively creating a community of like-minded leaders across the ecosystem.

Security: The Great Enabler of Organizational Strength

Security: The Great Enabler of Organizational Strength

May 31, 2022

Every profession has its pioneers. The ones who worked with sticky notes and clunky first-generation SQL databases. They had the opportunity and skills to create, document, and teach their learnings to future generations. And they had a front row seat to how their ideas evolved into the future.

Scott Stewart, Vice President of Intelligence for TorchStone Global,  is one of those pioneers for protective intelligence and counter surveillance. We had the opportunity to meet at a protective intelligence summit hosted by Ontic and we decided to compare notes on our learnings in this great conversation podcast.

You get a sense of the man, the profession, and the future of the risk, resilience, and security industry as one of the great enablers of organizational strength and competitiveness.

Enjoy the conversation.

His Job is to Make Others Fear Less

His Job is to Make Others Fear Less

May 31, 2022

In this conversation, we have the opportunity to dive into how technology may disrupt the executive protection profession. Most of us recognize that our brains are wired to resist uncertainty. We seem to grasp and hold on to the potential negative outcomes rather than seize the uncertain opportunities that stare us in the face.

Mark Ledlow has dealt with uncertainty and fear. And he has been paid to remove it for his clients. To help them fear less. Interesting enough, he shows his courage by being transparent about the gut check he gave himself after attending a protective intelligence summit hosted by Ontic, a technology company. He sees the change and his need to adapt and it makes for a great conversation. Mark is the CEO of Ledlow Security Group that provides Physical Security, Site Security, Supply Chain Security, Disaster Response Teams, and Executive Protection for High Networth Families and Executives.

He also hosts The Fearless Mindset Podcast where he welcomes the security Industry's best and brightest to learn about the tactics and strategies they use to protect the world's wealthiest families during these unprecedented times. 

People with Passion Will Change the World

People with Passion Will Change the World

May 31, 2022

He is a successful entrepreneur (Shooter Detection Systems), CEO (Milcom Security Solutions), and a sought-after board advisor (Fusus). He is adept at identifying needs and finding the means to deliver value. It isn’t a surprise then, that he is flying to the border of Poland and Ukraine on Saturday, May 28, to attempt to make life a little bit easier for the soldiers and the refugees of this terrible conflict.

We have a great conversation with Christian Connors who traveled to Medyka Poland to assist the World Central Kitchen in their efforts to provide Ukrainian refugees with food. He has a GoFundMe page to buy items that bring a smile to the faces of these amazing people. These items include Coca-Cola, M&Ms, Red Bull, kid’s toys and new mother's assistance such as diapers and pacifiers. Christian pays for his own travel costs and 100% of the funds go to buying items that are not available at the border crossing.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if The Great Conversation community takes action on this idea by donating to the World Central Kitchen and/or the GoFundMe fundraiser? Ideas shape markets. Ideas can change the world.

Here I Am. Send Me.

Here I Am. Send Me.

May 9, 2022

The greatest challenge of our time is challenging the notion that our democratic ideals no longer work in a world dominated by authoritarians acting with impunity on the world stage. As well, when our own leaders or institutions fail us, we still need people who can stand in the gap.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8

This quote is often spoken over the graves of our fallen warriors. The context: the world is falling apart. Confidence in institutions and leaders have fallen apart. But there are those that still answer the call to protect us.

I was able to sit down with a prolific best-selling author who, under the guise of telling an incredibly fast paced and exciting thriller architected around a former Navy Seal Sniper, has created a powerful path to value for all of us.

The books are interlaced with powerful ideas around purpose, mission, passion, and courage juxtaposed against evil, the erosion of personal freedom, the counterfeit ideas of misguided faith, and the leverage and management of fear.

The author, Jack Carr, is a former Navy Seal who led special operations teams as a team leader and platoon and troop commander in hot spots around the world, including Iraq and Afghanistan. But he is so much more. Well read, a student of history and warfare, with a life-long interest in taking his learnings and translating them into powerful stories, Jack Carr is now on the cusp of releasing his fifth book, In the Blood. He has released one every year since 2018. And this year, his main character, James Reese, will appear on Amazon Prime set for July 2022.

We have a great conversation around his great character and his path to value. We find the path is ours as well.

Entering the Arena with a Warrior Spirit

Entering the Arena with a Warrior Spirit

May 1, 2022

He was a Senior Vice President and Chief Security Officer for Verizon, a veteran, and one of the highest-ranking special agents in the FBI (who happen to be black) before retiring and becoming a school bus driver. The bridge was easy to cross if you are a true servant leader. His name is Michael Mason. We know him well. He was one of the most captivating speakers at our Great Conversation events before the pandemic. But he also sat in the front row taking notes as others spoke before and after him.

To get in his head and his heart, I decided to have a great conversation with him coinciding with the publication of his new book: Working in America - Spectator or Gladiator...You Decide

The book is designed for those who want to navigate the “white water rapids of the American workplace” with courage, discipline, kindness, and strength. Seizing the day requires you to get in the game, because the “world owes you nothing”, as Mike’s father once told him.

I hope you enjoy this lively conversation. It is like reading a good book animated by a voice that is clear and engaging.

On the Intelligence Autobahn: Riding Toward the Future of Security

On the Intelligence Autobahn: Riding Toward the Future of Security

May 1, 2022

“It was staring us in the face, but we just couldn’t see it.”

This is the conundrum many face when it comes to navigating risk and opportunity. Many things conspire to keep us from seeing and seizing the opportunity. Organizational silos. Fear of change. Cost vs. Return on the Opportunity (different than ROI).

I was fortunate to listen to a powerful story of navigating risk and opportunity by Ontic’s Chief Product Officer, Manish Mehta at the recent Protective Intelligence Summit. And I followed up with him on our Great Conversation Podcast around the opportunity that is gradually being “seen” and deployed by leaders in the risk, resilience, and security industry.

Listen in, connect the dots, and enjoy the ride along the new, interconnected, intelligence highway.

Manish has over 25 years of market leadership in software development, In his role as Chief Product Officer, he is the principal evangelist linking customers, partners and product development teams together in a highly collaborative and strategic web of innovation.

I Can Only Solve What I Can See

I Can Only Solve What I Can See

May 1, 2022

She has traveled all over the world and her journey intersected with some of the pivotal moments in the world’s troubled history.

But you would never know it.

She is humble; a disarming openness that draws you in. And, once in, you can see why she has been successful.

Wendy Bashnan is the CSO of Nielsen. Nielsen shapes the world’s media and content as a global leader in audience insights, data, and analytics. Through an understanding of people and their behaviors across all channels and platforms, they empower their clients with independent and actionable intelligence so they can connect and engage with their audiences—now and into the future. An S&P 500 company, Nielsen (NYSE: NLSN) operates around the world in more than 55 countries.

Wendy and I have a great conversation around how the emerging interconnected, intelligence platform will empower security leaders to a new level of organizational value.

“I can only solve what I can see.”

And, may I say, we are currently not seeing enough of the picture to play a strategic role within the organization. But we will. The new intelligence highway is rapidly becoming a reality. Enjoy the conversation and see if you agree.

To Protect and Enable

To Protect and Enable

May 1, 2022

Thought leaders are defined by the mountains they climb, the vistas they see, and their ability to articulate to others the how and why of the journey.

Adam Cambridge, a leader in Enterprise Risk Intelligence at Mitre, was recently acknowledged for his efforts in the Protective Intelligence profession at a summit hosted by Ontic.

We explore how his education and experience created the foundation for his passion for intelligence gathering; aggregating and analyzing information that could predict breaches or incidents for organizations and the world.

We also learn about his scorecard for great leaders and how this will be important for the next evolution of the industry. And fundamentally, we exchange ideas for how the role of security is changing in an exciting way; no longer defined just by what we protect, but how we enable the organization to achieve its goals.

Are you a Hitchhiker, a Driver, or the Car?

Are you a Hitchhiker, a Driver, or the Car?

May 1, 2022

As I have watched many industries evolve, I have paid particular attention to those companies who have thrived in the midst of change. I also have taken note of the people who fought the change and tried to understand why? When the opportunity was uncertain, then control and constraint were the weapons they deployed.

Where are they now?

After speaking to our guest, I believe they either were left behind or, later, attempted to “hitchhike” onto the speeding car on the highway. Those who embraced the change were either driving the car or created businesses that became the car.

I had the opportunity to talk to a highly valued Risk Intelligence Consultant, Chris Story. Chris also is highly interconnected through his work with the International Protective Security Board (IPSB), a non-profit promoting the advancement of protection professionals worldwide. He also works with Chuck Randolph on the podcast known as Conversations in Close Protection (CiCP).

Chris and I reflect on what we learned at a recent Protective Intelligence Summit hosted by Ontic where we shared stories of those that took note of changes in their industry and profession and embraced the change and those who did not.

The protectors are about to learn this. And those who embrace the change will be future leaders in the risk, resilience, and security industry.

Executive Summit Series Preview

Executive Summit Series Preview

March 31, 2022

Get ready to take a deep breath. Imagine juggling the following:

  • President of the National Economic Security Alliance

  • Leadership Council Member of the National Business Association

  • Senior Fellow Emeritus of Auburn University’s McCrary Institute for Cyber and Critical Infrastructure Security

  • Distinguished Fellow of the Ponemon Institute

  • Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Directors of the National Intellectual Property Law Institute

  • Board Member, International Security Management Association (ISMA)

  • CEO of Mattice and Associates

  • Keynote speaker for strategic forums like The Great Conversation

Okay. You can breathe now.

Take all this experience and you can see why we partnered with Lynn in 2018 and 2019 to create the Executive Summit Series leveraging Lynn’s background as a CSO and the track record above.

The pandemic forced us to pivot, and Lynn is now directing the future of the Executive Summit Series. The next one will take place on April 28, 2022, as an anchor event for DSAC week and will be held, as in previous years, at The Boeing Company in Arlington, VA.

Lynn and I sit down to discuss his agenda outline.

Enjoy the conversation.

Moving the Aspirational and Relational Dial of Leadership

Moving the Aspirational and Relational Dial of Leadership

March 31, 2022

We used to think job security was important. And it may be. But what if the real need is to belong to something bigger than ourselves?

I sit down with an accomplished executive coach who has been helping C-suite executives around the world unlock their leadership power to deliver on their strategic and personal objectives. She is a former global HR executive with a highly attuned ability to listen to her clients deeper than the words they are using and the stories they are telling.

She has been travelling to Central America since 2014 with an organization called The Business Council for Peace (Bpeace), an award-winning nonprofit working in crisis-affected communities to grow small and medium-size businesses, create significant employment for all, and expand the economic power of women. To Bpeace: “More jobs mean less violence.®”

What I found extraordinary about Angel Scalpello, the founder of the Scalpello Group, is how she bridges the profit and non-profit world with her competencies and gets her hands dirty in the process. Although she sits on the board of directors, she personally advises and trains budding business owners in some of the most distressed parts of the world.

We have a great conversation, and, as always, we discover important questions we should be asking ourselves and our leaders.

Supporting the Security Ecosystem at the Edge

Supporting the Security Ecosystem at the Edge

March 31, 2022

I first became acquainted with Jon Polly’s ideas and competencies through his articles on smart buildings and cities. I knew that many systems integrators and technology vendors were not equipped to carry on a great conversation on those topics.

But security is no longer a silo. It is becoming deeply embedded in digital transformation initiatives at the corporate and consumer level. Design thinking must become more holistic and the value proposition more integrated into the very fabric of the living building and the living city.

Jon doesn’t believe in going it alone. He wants to extend the vendor ecosystem to support the new initiatives creating a force multiplier for the end client and their trusted security systems integrator. The partner model is not new. However, I believe it will take on new urgency in the future.

The Listening Leader

The Listening Leader

March 31, 2022

The former global head of communications and crisis management at one of the world’s largest insurance companies, became an international business coach on strategic communications through his company The Orvieto Academy for Communicative Leadership.

We speak with him from Rome, where he has been since the pandemic.

Emilio is a thought leader in communicative leadership which focuses on empowering and strengthening leaders and employees. He is the chairman of Italy’s largest change management consulting group as well as teaches leadership principles through his virtual and onsite workshops around the world.

We talk about his journey and finish with the six tipping points of leadership that he has focused on during the pandemic. We discover a curious mind, driven by a passion for people and learning. And we are left with key steps in our path to values-based leadership.

Redefining VUCA to Inspire and Foster Confidence in the Future

Redefining VUCA to Inspire and Foster Confidence in the Future

March 31, 2022

We have been using VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity) to describe the world in which we live and our response to it since the United States Army War College used it following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001. Imagine what military planners faced with a radically different international security environment that had emerged. VUCA was used to describe it. Now business, in this age of digital transformation and expanded risk, is using it as well.

Let’s face it, risks and opportunities abound in a VUCA world. The risks are hard to see because they are multi-layered and intersect in a “tangled mesh of reaction and counter-reaction”. And we find, much to our dismay that not everything is black and white. And change is the only constant. Just when you think you are there, there is a shift, and all your old mental models no longer apply. This causes uncertainty, doubt, and fear, often paralyzing us while the window of opportunity to address the risk and seize the opportunity closes.

We have been pursuing the guides that can help us be better leaders in this VUCA world, and we found another in Germany: Waltrud Glaeser.

We have a great conversation around helping leaders “return to curiosity” about themselves, the others around them, and their impact on their companies and the world. We come away with a positive substitution for the VUCA acronym: Vision, Understanding, Clarity, and Adaptability. And that is a worthy starting point for leader’s growth, personally, professionally, and within the context of their business.

What if Seeing and Knowing was a Practice?

What if Seeing and Knowing was a Practice?

February 28, 2022

I had a great conversation with a former FBI Special Agent and Head of Counterintelligence Behavioral Analysis Program (RET) who spent 21+ years of working counterintelligence.

I was intrigued on what he had learned about reading people. What I was not prepared for was his relentless flywheel of learning that he has developed to become a better person and leader.

The tools he developed are used to achieve self-mastery in observation, communication, and execution from a foundation of humility and transparency, whether it is with your perceived enemy, an employee, or a friend.

Robin Dreeke spent 21 years in the FBI before starting The People Formula and authoring a number of books on leadership and trust including It’s Not All About “Me”, The Code of Trust, and his latest, Sizing People Up.

As you can imagine, you can’t help but immerse yourself in his world and come out a better person as a result.

Enjoy the conversation.

Security Leading Organizational Change?!

Security Leading Organizational Change?!

February 28, 2022

No one wants to see this picture. (Podcast listeners, go to our blog on March 15, 2020). It offends us. It depresses us. But it is a graphic example of Gallup’s recent poll on the disengagement of the workforce. In this conversation, we find two amazing leaders who decided to change that narrative in their own unique way. It is a conversation of hope in the midst of the Great Resignation.

“For the first year in more than a decade, the percentage of engaged workers in the U.S. declined in 2021. Just over one-third of employees (34%) were engaged, and 16% were actively disengaged in their work and workplace, based on a random sample of 57,022 full- and part-time employees throughout the year. This compares with 36% engaged and 14% actively disengaged in 2020, a year with unprecedented highs and lows.” Gallup Survey

 

The data scares you, but it is not surprising. In the middle of the “Great Resignation” Gallup’s new survey says that only a third of employees are engaged in their work. That means 66% are not. And 16% are actively disengaged. Actively disengaged means feeling miserable at work and spreading negativity to their colleagues.

But what if you found a way to change that? What if you excelled at engagement? Gallup suggests it could be a force multiplier in improving your profitability, your productivity, your turnover, and your absenteeism (which costs businesses a half trillion a year).

Imagine my surprise when I found a security team leading the charge in changing their corporate culture. And they did it in a highly creative and innovative way. First in their own department and then across the company.

Join me for a great conversation with the former CSO of one of the largest utilities in the United States, Stan Partlow, and one of his former executives who had the idea 5 years ago, Sam Queeno, and led the ground-breaking new initiative that is still operating today.

The Chief Legal Officer’s Strategic Partner: Security

The Chief Legal Officer’s Strategic Partner: Security

February 28, 2022

I have had the opportunity to meet many of the executives who planned on attending the Protective Intelligence Summit hosted by Ontic last month. Staying true to the summit’s theme to “widen the aperture of security”, I had been meeting with HR, CISOs, CSOs, CCOs, and Chief Legal Officers (CLOs).

I also was preparing to facilitate a discussion around uniting Legal and Security at the Summit. Before I did so, I decided to meet with Ontic’s CLO.

Scott Shepherd has a unique background.  He had been the CLO at Khoros and the VP of Legal at Spredfast. Prior to Spredfast, he was a General Counsel, law firm partner, and USMC Lieutenant Colonel. His educational background spans public policy, political science, and law.

I also was interested in the survey Ontic had done across these leadership disciplines and how it would apply to the CLO function. I found an excellent article written by Scott and Fred Burton, an industry thought leader in protective intelligence, written for the legal profession.

We sit down, discuss the article, his experience and his learnings from the industry and the survey.

Enjoy the conversation.

Security’s Strategic Seat at the Table

Security’s Strategic Seat at the Table

February 28, 2022

When we were preparing to participate in a Protective Intelligence Summit hosted by Ontic, Steven Antoine and I decided to have a great conversation about some of the agonizingly persistent questions around the functional role of the risk, resilience, and security leader.

Steven is the Vice President of Global Security for the North American Pepsico organization. Before that, he was the CSO of Global Assets Protection for Yum! Brands. At Yum!, we encountered a marketing philosophy driven by Yum’s former CEO called R.E.D. And we began to apply it to our views of the Security Industry.

  • R: Relevance – Is Security relevant to the organization? Is it mission critical?

  • E: Easy – Is Security easy to understand and use? Is it easily translatable to the navigation of risk and opportunity that the C Suite is facing real-time every day?

  • D: Distinctive – If you benchmarked how Security partners with the C Suite, would your Security organization stand out? Would it be distinctively valuable?

As you listen to this great conversation, you will see a naturally inquisitive mind and a natural leader asking the tough questions about security’s role in the organization and ultimately its value.

Enjoy the conversation.

The Evolution of a Risk, Resilience, and Security Organization

The Evolution of a Risk, Resilience, and Security Organization

February 28, 2022

Brian Tuskan is a senior executive leader (CSO) for a Fortune 500 organization that we have known since the early days of The Great Conversation. His ability to absorb new technology, leadership skills, and industry experience and learnings, has allowed him to grow personally and professionally.

We caught up with him to understand what was front of mind for him and to help us define security’s evolving role in the era of digital transformation, threat intelligence platforms, work from home, and the breadth and depth of global risk conditions.

Brian is also the founder and host of Cop to Corporate, a webcast featuring strategies for law enforcement professionals seeking to transition to the corporate world.

Protect to Enable

Protect to Enable

February 28, 2022

I rarely meet people who are trying to anticipate change in a healthy way. The one’s who do practice a rigorous discipline of inquiry without assuming what they have learned is enough to navigate the risks and opportunities of tomorrow.

Nathan Mills, a senior enterprise risk management executive in Zoom is such a person. With a unique background in technology, business operations, intelligence, and security, he is helping his organization to live their group’s mission of "Protect to Enable"

His group is blazing new ground in developing a world-class physical security and business resilience program inside a converged cyber-physical security organization.

Enjoy the conversation.

Leadership and the Risk Advisor

Leadership and the Risk Advisor

February 28, 2022

Dale Buckner, CEO of Global Guardian, a risk management, and advisory firm, is a trusted supplier to global organizations around the world.

We have been following Dale for some time, and his public briefings are enormously powerful.

This great conversation is relevant to CEOs and their board of directors. It revolves around the question: “What have you done over the past two years to create competitive advantage from this generational shift that is occurring around the world?” This shift is impacting how we model our businesses, interact with our employees, and how we finally integrate security into the primary mission of the CEO and their teams: to leverage risk and opportunity to create a valuable company.

Enjoy the conversation.

The Frameworks We Use to Define Security May Hold Us Back

The Frameworks We Use to Define Security May Hold Us Back

February 16, 2022

There are recurring questions that risk, resilience, security, and business leaders have been asking themselves for years. They are common themes we hear at the seminars and conferences alike. Questions like:

  • Is security mission critical to the execution of the business?
  • If so, how is this evidenced in the strategic planning and execution of the executive management team (EMT)? (CFO, CIO, CISO, CLO, HR, and CSO)
  • Is it important for security to be the responsibility of multiple people in an organization, including those outside of the security discipline? 
  • Who are the core members of the EMT that security relies upon?
  • Does security drive business continuity and reputation strategies or is it a supporting function?
  • How can security professionals best gain budget and buy-in for corporate security in their organizations?
  • Is security seen as a cost center? If so, how do you prove its value?
  • How does current technology support cross functional collaboration, communication, and the measures of value that support its strategic role of helping navigate risk and opportunity for the members of the executive management team?

I will be providing some of the answers I received from a recent polling of the Great Conversation community. I also want to share this recent conversation I had with the Founder and CEO of Concentric Security, Mark Oakes. He takes a multi-disciplinary, creative look at industrial security, some of the stories security practitioners have been telling themselves for years as well as some new, useful mental models we can use to improve our thinking processes.

This is a fascinating and great conversation around how we see, know, and act as both security professionals, as human beings… and as leaders. These insights can positively impact the stories we tell ourselves in the future.

Preparing for the Protective Intelligence Summit

Preparing for the Protective Intelligence Summit

January 31, 2022

One of the key disciplines I have leveraged and taught falls under a personal philosophy of mine: “Never waste an opportunity to learn”

On February 21-23, Ontic, a leading platform for protective intelligence, is hosting a thought leader forum. It promises to be an inflection point for the organizational leaders who influence the policies, procedures, people, and tools around proactive risk management. We are talking about CSOs, CLOs, COOs, CFOs, and CEOs. Risk is now everyone’s business because it impacts the reach and resilience of business which also impacts its brand.

My discipline is to go over the agenda, research the speaker’s backgrounds, research the subject, and then determine the questions I have on the subject matter. I must cultivate an inquiring mind by doing my own research or I become a consumer instead of an active listener. The good news is I asked a fellow attendee who is an executive with a risk management company to review our options with me.

Chuck Randolph has been a senior director of threat intelligence and executive protection at Microsoft and is now Senior Director of Operations for an international risk advisory and executive protection firm called AT-RISK International. We have a great conversation around our potential learnings and the quality of the speakers and the topics.

 
Learning How to Live

Learning How to Live

January 31, 2022

Most people are looking for something. Early on it could be as simple as love from a parent or friends. It might evolve into living vicariously through our heroes. Then attention naturally focuses on a career path, a search for a combination of recognition, or power, or wealth.

But very few of us think about our end of days.

I was originally attracted to Nick Brossit, Ed.D. through a posting on LinkedIn where he was sharing his journey dealing with pancreatic cancer. He has over 32 years in formal public education – 22 years as a Superintendent in two different school districts in Washington State. He also generously gives of his time as a leadership coach and consultant.

We have a great conversation about his path to value, personally and professionally. We touch on servant leadership, having a north star, and the nature of wholeness as a platform to lead others. And, finally, we come full circle to how that path prepared him for a cancer diagnosis that could eventually kill him.

 I was humbled by his gift, his grace, and his faith.

What Leaders can Learn from PTSD

What Leaders can Learn from PTSD

January 31, 2022

There is no one way to look at PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) there are 636,120 ways to have PTSD.

However, those of us who have not been diagnosed with PTSD can learn a lot from those who have served our combat veterans on how to deal with stress and trauma, especially in these uncertain times.

One of our Great Conversation leaders introduced us to Dr. Dan Libby, Executive Director of the Veterans Yoga Project (VYP), a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization whose mission is to support recovery and resilience among our veterans, families, and communities. He and his organization are working with hundreds, if not thousands, each week, helping them to navigate a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) world. Here is a quote from Dr. Libby based on an early recognition of the power of yoga on one of his early clients:

“A turning point in the founding of VYP occurred before the fourth “mindful yoga” class I had ever taught. One of my veterans approached me and told me that he had stopped taking his sleep medications, because now he could meditate to go to sleep. That moment was profound. The pride with which he told me this was palpable. It is as if he were no longer a broken man who could not manage the simplest of human functions; instead, he was empowered to use his own mind, his own breath, his own body to live and sleep, in a way that brought him more ease and more joy. He practiced every day. Eventually, he went on to lead morning meditations in his own community at a local yoga center.”

 We have a Great Conversation around the unique benefits of yoga in training the body and mind, eventually training yourself to be at peace with what you find in any moment. I came away with the sense that if I could get to that state, as a leader, I could see more clearly the people around me and the circumstances that were confronting them with empathy and without judgement. In a sense, we wake up, freed from emotional constructs that can lead us astray.

Dr. Libby is much more eloquent. Enjoy the conversation.

The Organization is not a Machine; It is a Person

The Organization is not a Machine; It is a Person

January 31, 2022

Something is wrong. We have so many tools within our reach that would position our organizations more strategically, improve our processes exponentially, and create value within our market ecosystems. But for some reason, we cannot get our people to believe that their work is essential to their life and well-being. Work has become something you do while you are waiting for life to begin. You can see it and hear it. Just listen:

  • TGIF (Thank God it is Friday)

  • I am only working here until I get a better offer somewhere else

  • One day I can retire and not have to do this anymore

  • Our leaders only care about money and power

How did this happen?

There is a company, Quantum Leaders, that would tell you that all the Six Sigma, Balanced Scorecarding, and Wellness Programs you have put into place are good. But they would point you to the facts: People are still not engaged. We explore this ugly truth and how we might begin a journey of discovery that might lead to change in how we view the world, and ourselves in it. And it might just make your organization more competitive, more efficient, and more resilient.

Welcome to The Great Conversation around a radical concept: Your organization is a living person.

Siri: Can You Please Open the Door?

Siri: Can You Please Open the Door?

January 31, 2022

In business, we start with how people think, feel, and respond. We put tools in their hands. The tools inspire behavior. They become personal and professional. And if you are one of the fortunate, yet small minority, that is successful harnessing their positive reaction to your tool, you are on the path to value.

I seldom see the agents of change be motivated by purely money. They usually seek impact. They consider their legacy; and they want to win. Winning to them is about seizing the opportunity so that they, the market, and their customer, flourish.

I am fortunate to be able to speak with these people at different stages of their thinking. Stephen Pineau, the CEO of Gloocel is my latest. Gloocel seeks to dramatically lower the cost and improve the experience of building owners and their stakeholders, by cutting the cord using mobile and the cloud.

But enjoy the lessons that lurk below the specific market and product. It is another Great Conversation.

The Art of Protecting the Leader

The Art of Protecting the Leader

January 31, 2022

If you think about it, protecting those who lead us must be one of the oldest professions.

Today there is a professional practice called “Executive Protection”. In most companies, it is one of many spokes of their security program wheel.

But for some time now, the practice of risk management and security has been undergoing a radical transformation. The deluge of information and the ability to collect it, organize it, understand it, and communicate it for appropriate defense measures and actionable incident response, can no longer depend on a single person or department. Technology is advancing to bring a vast aggregation engine from on the ground resources to online media outlets (including social). And there is an opportunity to bring executive level purview into the mix from HR, Legal, Compliance, and Operations through a comprehensive and integrated cross functional communication platform.

I turned to Michael Trott, a thought leader, author (The Protected), and security executive leader for Discovery Land Company, to seek his counsel and wisdom, from experience, in advance of the Protective Intelligence Summit we will be at in Austin, Texas February 21-23, 2022. We begin to unpack what executive protection and security might look like in the years to come.

It was a great conversation.

The Breath of Life

The Breath of Life

November 29, 2021

Every week we work, we strive, we fear, and we love. If we are fortunate, we take time to listen to music. If we are even more fortunate, we find ourselves in a small, comfortable venue listening to live music.

It could be jazz, the blues, reggae, or rock and roll. It doesn’t matter. Because music, according to psychology experts, can reduce your stress level. And stress is impacts are brain and memory. If it is jazz, the musician also stretches the brain by having to think critically and creatively through their technical knowledge of playing their instrument and the challenge of integrating what they are hearing from their fellow performers. The resulting “collaboration” is the performance we experience.

But what if the performer pauses mid-stream to take us on another journey that could be defined as “the breath of life.”

We meet up with a global-trotting world-class musician by the name of Levi Huffman who takes us on this journey of his that has touched so many of his followers.

Virtual Guarding

Virtual Guarding

November 29, 2021

With the rapid pace of change in technology, the need for the strategic integration of the technology to leverage the data it is aggregating and consuming, and, finally, the cost of labor vs. the return, new business models have emerged.

We explore one such company riding these changes. The CEO, Daniel Forest, shares his entrepreneurial background and nature and how it informed and infused his company.

Eyeforce Inc. is a remote video guarding company stationed in Houston, TX. They specialize in the remote guarding of outdoor critical infrastructures such as water treatment facilities, solar and wind farms, oil and gas pipeline, parking areas, construction sites, and many more.

Understanding the Transactions of Value: Business Intelligence as a Service

Understanding the Transactions of Value: Business Intelligence as a Service

November 29, 2021

We love finding people of passion who have connected their passion and calling in such a way that they influence executives and companies around the world.

Recently we connected with the President of Parks Associates, Elizabeth Parks, a second-generation business owner with a legacy of aggregating information about the residential and small business security market. Because of their compendium of knowledge, they provide unique perspectives on how the market is functioning and where it might be going; incredibly useful for the current ecosystem of companies as well as the new emerging entrepreneurs.

Our conversation explored how the unique identity of work and home has shifted and what that portends for the industry.

Elizabeth has a unique seat at the table. She oversees research topics and coverage areas for the company and directs the integrated strategic communications plan for Parks Associates, including advertising, public relations, and marketing. Elizabeth has also supported the growth of Parks Associates business and marketing services for twenty-three years and is the key organizer for all of Parks Associates' events, including Parks Associates signature event CONNECTIONS™.

From Myth to Learning: The Art of the Cognerati

From Myth to Learning: The Art of the Cognerati

November 29, 2021

Since the time of the ancients, Arcadia has been the inspiration for poets, painters, and writers attracted to an idyllic time and place. Arcadia was and is that place. It is a real location (southern Greece) as well as a mythological one. It is where many of the myths were born. And myths are ideas. And ideas are real things. They can shape us, inspire us, and define us.

How this happens is through a culture of learning anchored by how we uniquely perceive, consume, understand, apply, and communicate information. This “central processing” technology is the foundation behind the word “cognition.” And you might say the humans who have collectively pursued the optimization and actualization of this skill are the “cognerati.”

Putting these two terms together becomes the genesis of a story of warriors translating their experiences and learnings into an applied practice of thinking that helps enhance the situational awareness and actionable response of executives in the risk, resilience, and security industry.

We speak with Greg Williams, founder and President, and Brian Marren, Senior VP of Operations of Arcadia Cognerati. They are both veteran Human Behavior Pattern Recognition & Analysis subject matter experts that have inspired and educated their clients through their classes and consulting around the world.
The Gift of Struggle

The Gift of Struggle

November 29, 2021

Can “struggle” be our best chance at discovering who we are? We found an author who explores this with us in The Great Conversation.

Bobby Herrera is the author of The Gift of Struggle, a book about leadership and the life-changing lessons we learn through our struggles. He is also the co-founder and president of Populus Group. With a passion for building strong culture and communities through trust and storytelling, his leadership style is about empowerment, connections, and ensuring everyone has the opportunity to succeed.

Bobby grew up in a big family with parents who immigrated to America without much. While this is not an uncommon story, the leadership style and company culture that it inspired is. The belief that everyone deserves the opportunity to succeed is at the core of Bobby’s philosophy in business and in life.

Everyone has struggles and business leaders are no exception. Bobby’s passion is helping others understand how their individual struggles can help them connect with their communities and inspire others is what will transform their leadership style.

Bobby is a proud Army veteran and currently lives in Portland, Oregon.

Making a Difference: A Relentless Pursuit of Leadership

Making a Difference: A Relentless Pursuit of Leadership

November 1, 2021

We live a life of intersections between Yes and No. Whatever path we choose necessarily demands a sacrifice of the other. Each path leads to another intersection. And although this happens to all of us, few of us recognize at the time the incredible blessing of choice and the learnings that carryover.

Stan Partlow of Relentless Effort, LLC is one of the few. His career spans law enforcement, the FBI, most recently, CSO of one of the foremost utilities in the nation, AEP. Stan is a self-described “leadership nerd”. For him, leadership is all about influence, and influence is the art and the science of relationships. And relationships, if harnessed toward a common goal drives outcomes that matter. We also talk about influence that can be manipulative. We touch on leaders who are great at influence but drive people to do horrible things. So we expand the definition of leadership to underline the commitment to honor, integrity, and the common good.

If you are relentlessly pursuing your path to value, you might want to sit in on this great conversation about his life, his learnings, and his passion for a life well lived.

Interviewing a Technology Vendor

Interviewing a Technology Vendor

November 1, 2021

We wanted to be a fly on the wall when an integrator interviewed a potential technology vendor that happened to be offering an enterprise platform for integrating video management into access control, health monitoring, IoT integration, and analytics at the edge.

While we listened in they discussed the current state of best-in-class video monitoring, the value of the data center platforms like Google, the roadblocks to creating a compelling value proposition with the CSO and the CISO, and the nature of evaluating technology and technology vendor relationships.

It was a new grand experiment for The Great Conversation. Listen in and see if you can extract some value out of their discussion.

The participants are Nigel Waterton, Chief Revenue Officer for Arcules; Brian Cox, Regional Manager for Arcules in Texas; Joe Harris, Chief Solutions Officer for STAR Asset Security; and Jack Johnson, VP of Sales and Marketing for STAR.

Our learnings: serendipitously, we had just interviewed another cloud platform vendor. We found an overwhelming demand for cloud solutions due to labor shortages, budget constraints, the need for rapid application development, and the ease of use and administration.

In the Face of the Threat: Security on the Front Line

In the Face of the Threat: Security on the Front Line

November 1, 2021

Seattle Children's is one of the most respected children's research and hospital in the nation. Dylan Hayes, is the lead Cyber-Physical IT Security Manager. He has been in the center of physical security services at Children’s Hospital and shares his thoughts on leadership, innovation, and change.

Dylan is a seasoned leader, planner, and enterprise change agent with 20+ year progressive career record spanning a wide range of critical business systems and operations including enterprise risk, resilience, and response.

He also has extensive expertise and background in consulting/assessment, system analysis/integration, application and system management, resilient and streamlined operations, safety identification and mitigation, disaster planning and customer service.

Standing in the Gap in Afghanistan

Standing in the Gap in Afghanistan

November 1, 2021

If we are fortunate enough to have the resources and time to help others in need, we truly are blessed. If we live in the land of the free and the home of the brave, we also have the duty to step in and help others find their path and courage to pursue hope, liberty, and happiness.

David Nicastro of Secure Source International is in the business of helping his clients navigate travel around the world as well as providing strategic advice on corporate risk management. He has built his business through a network of skilled relationships around the world.

Recently he volunteered his time, resources, and money, to help extract people from Afghanistan who were close to losing their freedom and their lives.

In our conversation, we step through his journey, his business model, and the events that led to a successful extraction from one of the world's most dangerous countries.

Unbound Intelligent Security

Unbound Intelligent Security

November 1, 2021

If you have worked for a variety of access control technology vendors, you have an inside view of how they develop their products and their go to market strategies. We wanted to leverage those insights to explore the next generation of what we call Unbound Intelligent Security.

To do that, we looked up Paul Dipeso who works for a company called Feenics that purports to be the “rebirth of access control”. We actually think it might be more than that. Listen in and see how we attempt to tease out the ‘why’ behind this new approach to an age old problem.

Keep by Feenics is the rebirth of access control. Designed by an integrator, for an integrator, it's about meeting the needs of the end user by maximizing their current infrastructure with a flexible, scalable platform that uses a secure connection to the cloud, no different than online banking. Feenics believes in protecting the initial investment with licensing costs that are not complicated or prohibitive and hardware that is non-proprietary.

ISO 31030: The Global Community Addresses Travel Risk Management

ISO 31030: The Global Community Addresses Travel Risk Management

November 1, 2021

Do your people who travel to support your business believe that you are doing everything you can to keep them safe and secure? Does your organization believe they have a duty to care for them?

The world is changing dramatically. We have the new threat vector of Covid 19 and may be facing a new era of similar outbreaks. We have socio-political divisiveness leading to civil unrest with the corresponding ramifications of the new role of law enforcement in mitigating the risk.

We have climate uncertainty.

We have global terrorism.

The question is: do we have an agreed upon standard of care for our workforce? And are we taking steps to mitigate their risk?

Fundamentally, we need to have an over-arching risk management standard. We have one that is internationally  recognized: ISO 31000. With this in place we can now address specific risk in travel. For some time now, working through many virtual conference calls, a consortium of risk, resilience and security professionals have been working on a new travel management standard called ISO 31030.

We sit down with one of the key committee members, Ronny Saether of Norges Bank, along with a noted security consultant, Patrick Kane, and an owner of an executive protection agency, Mac Segal of AHNA, to unwrap the potential this may have of changing how we evangelize travel risk management in our organizations and in our vendor relationships.

Everyone, Anywhere

Everyone, Anywhere

November 1, 2021

John Coovert, the VP and Global Head of Security for SAP, has been a voice of innovation and change in our conversations for close to ten years. In this conversation we discuss his concept of duty of care “Everyone, Anywhere” and how that guides his strategy and planning at SAP. We learn about how he wants the vendor community to approach him, and his need to secure his future by automating the physical tasks that permeate security within his company. 

A highly experienced security professional with over 33 years of experience in physical security, law enforcement, and the military, John has been focused on strong leadership and prioritizing to achieve determined results. Because of this, he excels at developing relationships with business units supported by, and in support of, security programs. He possesses a unique and dynamic experience from tenures at security roles at various notable companies, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and the United States Marine Corps.

John has been able to progressively advance through leadership/management positions due to his ability to motivate staff, increase productivity, develop plans and solutions in fighting crime, provide safety and effectively use the tools provided. Additionally, he has served as a Director, Manager, Supervisor, field training officer, while employed in the security industry as well as worked independently as an Executive Protection Specialist for several companies.

Serving the Emerging Leaders in Security

Serving the Emerging Leaders in Security

October 1, 2021

Mark Weatherford is an American cybersecurity professional who has held a variety of executive level positions in both the public and private sectors. He was appointed as the first deputy under secretary for cybersecurity at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from 2011 to 2013. He is currently the Global Information Security Strategist for Booking Holdings.

Mark Weatherford is investing his wealth of knowledge into helping emerging companies become more strategic in the risk, resilience, and security industry. He does this through a portfolio of private companies as a strategic advisor as well as with non-profits such as the National Cybersecurity Center (NCC) where he is the Chief Strategy Officer. The NCC is a non-profit helping with the cybersecurity of startups and state and local government. The Unfortunate 5000. There are three program pillars that help them meet their mission.

1. Education and outreach. The NCC’s Cyber Education Program provides cybersecurity leadership, with two main pillars: K-12 education, NCC Student Alliance, and the Adult Education Initiative. As our nation addresses the critical gap in skilled cybersecurity talent, NCC addresses the importance of cyber education through programs and partnerships that invite students to participate in an ecosystem which encourages them to learn, explore, and build their skills.

2. The Space Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC), a separate nonprofit organization, has the mission to facilitate collaboration across the global space industry to enhance our ability to prepare for and respond to vulnerabilities, incidents and threats; to disseminate timely and actionable information among member entities; and to serve as the primary communications channel for the sector with respect to this information.

3. Voting security. Secure the Vote seeks to increase voter confidence in the U.S. on the accuracy of vote-counting, and to generate greater awareness of possible solutions to critical gaps in the voting infrastructure. Secure the Vote supports jurisdictions’ efforts to offer a secure, auditable mobile voting option for overseas voters through coordinating and evaluating pilots across the country.

After exploring his portfolio and his work, we examine the technologies that are transforming our world.

A Smart Gun Promising to Change  the Way We Think about Security and Safety

A Smart Gun Promising to Change the Way We Think about Security and Safety

October 1, 2021

If you are a gun owner, you know the drill. Keep the gun in a safe. Especially if you have children. What if there was another, better way?

In Seattle, during one of our many so-called civil demonstrations, a gun was taken from a law enforcement officer’s car. A frightening situation. What if the perpetrator could take the gun, but not be able to use it?

It was after another gun-related incident, a school shooting, that the founder of TrueFire, Justin Gant, sought a way to create a fool proof access control device for a firearm. Pretty tough to do since, according to Justin, there have been very innovations in gun design for many years.

What happened next? A series of design iterations, testing, and test cases that are getting very close to establishing a standard for preventing an unauthorized use of a weapon, without disrupting the experience of the gun owner and the aesthetics of the gun. “It has to not be there”, said Erik Larson, his cofounder.

They are close to imagining a day where no one can access a device that they are unauthorized to use. No more need to lock the gun in a safe. No more frightening incidents around police firearms on the street.

We explore their idea, the stage of their design, and their passion for saving the lives of the gun owner, their friends and family, and law enforcement.

Covert Close Protection: Protecting the Leader

Covert Close Protection: Protecting the Leader

October 1, 2021

There is a critical role for the high net worth and/or corporate leader to consider just like they would do for a key function in their company.

This critical role is the Executive Protection Leader. In a great conversation with Mac Segal, founder and CEO of the AHNA Group, we take advantage of his upcoming International Covert Close Protection Course that he is launching on October 25-31 in Amsterdam to uncover the multi-faceted attributes of such a leader.

You will want to listen in to a thought-provoking exchange on the attributes needed in this age of risk – this is not your father’s James Bond.

AHNA Group is a multi-discipline security consortium, providing you with true security convergence services to ensure smooth and optimal operational outcomes

Leadership and Security

Leadership and Security

October 1, 2021

Guy Beveridge believes in teaching executives and their security teams how to navigate risk and opportunity. Although he is a professional security consultant he first and foremost is focused on the mind of the leader and how they communicate a risk, resilience, and security mindset to their people.

We have a great conversation around human investment, empowerment, and how to handle the deadly curse of organizational culture; not exposing the fear inside.

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