Tips prevent a lot of bad things from happening within organizations, but tips alone are not the answer based on recent lessons learned. The Christmas Day Bomber attack was prevented and lives saved thanks to tips, but also thanks to the FBI’s proactive efforts in confidentially sharing information with other key players, such as law enforcement and local government.
An anonymous tip from Saudi Arabian intelligence helped to locate package bombs that were sent from Yemen. No doubt these package bombs could have caused a lot of damage and loss of lives, had specialized prevention teams not taken proactive actions to locate and confiscate the packages before they arrived at their destinations.
Tips play a critical role in global security, as well as our communities. But just having the tips is not going to prevent unwanted incidents from happening. People – specialized teams with situational awareness, accountability, secure information sharing tools and the ability to connect the dots – are clearly the most effective way to proactively prevent unwanted incidents in schools, communities, private organizations, governments and where ever else bullies and terrorists may target.
While I am very thankful that the Christmas Day Bomber and the package bombs were prevented, every day I see or hear about stories involving bullying or terrorism or ethics or safety where red flags existed, but organizations did not take appropriate actions.
I hope organizational leaders realize it is their responsibility and obligation to take proactive steps in understanding how their organization receives tips, how their teams share information, how teams respond to tips and if their traditional tips system (see previous blog) is empowering their security and prevention teams to proactively prevent incidents.
Feel free to share these lessons learned, because they help organizations and their leaders understand the need to replace status quo solutions sooner than later to meet safety obligations and escalating risks.