The Mumbai Blasts Have Served As Wake Up Call For The Indian Industry Leaders To Have A Rethink On There Own Corporate Security Policies
The Mumbai blasts have served as wake up call for the Indian industry leaders to
have a rethink on there own corporate security policies .The incident has also led the
industry to decide to work with government on security and governance issues rather
than dealing with it as another man’s subject.
The Indian industry has been hit by global recession and by image of India as a soft
target due to terrorist strikes and now with the Satyam episode as a country lacking
in good corporate governance policies .
The question which arises is what are the new leadership strategies to be adopted to
be able to overcome this bad patch and move forward. Foremost concern being
safety and security.
Corporate participation in debate on security
Expressing shock over the terrorist attack in Mumbai claiming about 100 lives, Indian
industry has demanded tougher laws along with ‘stronger and firmer’ leadership to
The industry leaders, including heads of the apex chambers, said that the country
needs to be on a high alert since its institutions are becoming vulnerable to the
terrorists’ attacks. Condemning the killer attacks in India’s financial capital, HDFC
Chairman Deepak Parekh said: “Blasts are bad for investor confidence.”Demanding
stringent laws to deal with terrorists, FICCI President Rajeev Chandrasekhar said: “It
is time we all join this debate on terrorism and demand stronger and firmer
leadership and approach to this threat of terrorism, including better laws.” He also
said that the Indian business has so far been mute and very detached from this
debate on terrorism and tougher approach to terrorism and terrorists, including anti-
We need to study how Srilanka and Israel have been coping with continuous terrorist
attacks and yet are able to develop their economy fairly well.
Strategically leaders guide the direction of the organization. Tactically they
oversee projects and measure the effect of the organizations activity. At first glance
the Leadership of a corporation is seen at the Executive and C-Level. The Executive
sets strategy and the C-Level and middle managers set tactics to accomplish
strategic goals. The efficacy and profitability of an organization is not merely
determined by the vision of the executive and his or her capacity to communicate
that vision to the crew. I believe the real value is in the tactical leaders within an
organization and this could mean middle management right down to line personnel. I
guess I am looking at an effective corporation and effective leadership in military
terms which is by no means strange.
What I believe Leaders do is properly facilitate their subordinates and gives them the
tools and opportunities to achieve. Leaders point the way and then GET OUT OF
THE WAY! Leaders recognize the qualities of their employees and will not try to
micromanage their employees. Leaders who micromanage show that they have no
confidence in their employeeʼs ability to accomplish the task set for them.
Again, take a military unit, strategic goals are put forth by the executive, C-Level and
middle management figure out how to achieve those goals and set forth tactics,
NCO's and line personnel do it. Ideally that is how it should work. Leaders will not
only set Strategic Goals, as in the case of Executive Level, or Tactical Goals, as with
C-Level and middle management, Leaders also inspire and influence.
Leadership can and should exist and be promoted within all levels of any
organization. However, beware of the PETER PRINCIPLE whereas a person whom
achieves professionally in his or her role will be promoted until they reach a role they
cannot perform. Leaders are both hard to find and everywhere. Leaders get others to
FOLLOW THEM because they have confidence in their acumen or abilities. A person
in a leadership position that cannot inspire others to follow is not a Leader..
One solution is to focus on de-centralized leadership. The value of de-centralized
leadership is born out in the ability of an organization to respond quickly to changes
of environment. This is necessary in an environment that is subject to drastic change
i.e. under the threat of terrorist attack.
Top down leadership while valuable in the communicating the direction and raison
d’être of any organization cannot possibly respond to changes that occur at the line
In the world today Leadership at all levels of an organization is necessary not only as
a business prerogative but in the case of terrorist threat may be a life saving
prerogative. Every organization should be doing a continuous Risk Assessment
cycle and have plans to preserve business continuity in the case of crisis. These
plans will of course be communicated to all leadership levels of an organization and
from there to the appropriate personnel.
Fostering proper Leadership at the line level will result in situational awareness not
possible at the C-Level. Situational Awarness in these times is not only a valuable
commodity but may make the difference between the collapse and survival of an
organization.(I recommend reading about John Boyd's OODA Loop as well)
Important is to learn from disasters.
The NYPD is examining ways to shut down cell phone calls in and around future
hostage-taking scenarios without also shutting down the communications devices of
the police trying to rescue them.
Cell phones were simple tools used to deadly effect in the Mumbai terror
attacks.According to phone transcripts, the attackers received instructions and real-
time updates about the officers amassing against them. Some of the phones they
used for the calls apparently were taken from hostages.The November siege showed
that well-trained assailants with simple weaponry can cause massive casualties.quot;I
think we can expect that groups will look to that as a model for themselves,quot; quot;We
sometimes focus on tactics that may be exotic and esoteric ... but for most terrorists,
they're looking for what works.quot; I believe, is the kind of thing that can be conducted
against soft targets around the world.quot;As much as governments worry about
chemical, biological or radiologic attacks, what happened in India may encourage
terrorists to launch low-tech violence.quot;This kind of attack, I think we have to be
prepared for it and be prepared for soft targets to be attacked,quot; he said.
We need to run government like a corporate, recruit the best people, deploy best
technology have best processes in place. Enable a certain section of police force to
deal with such kind of situation, provide them all the gadgets and machinery
Achieving double digit growth is a challenge no doubt but if taken up with right
leadership strategies will definitely lead to success.
Firoze Zia Hussain