John Salter’s Blog

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  • Facing the future with a child on a stick

    Widely recognised as a Leunig classic, his biting cartoon highlights the need for good decision making.

  • Balancing eggs in baskets …

    The adage cautions against putting all of your eggs in one basket.

    Reference – this weekend Financial Review

    A key food with many vulnerabilities.

    Empty shelves at Aldi today

    Manage your business continuity risks

    AgileBCP is scalable
    Supports small business for under $1,000
  • Resilience NSW – a reflection

    It would be useful if the business continuity plan for Resilience NSW was used transparently to rebuild the jigsaw based on achieving objectives.

    Or am I too much of an optimist?

  • Vulnerability is at the very heart of risk

    Addressing the “onion layers” – the underlying “why” – is an effective way of managing risk.

    It is YOUR VULNERABILITY. There is limited value in “leading the witness”.

    Far better to stimulate your reflection and considerations – of your context.

    It is in that spirit the whimsical images, prompts, and references below are provided.

    from De Bono …
    … to Kipling

    Concept: Risk as a function of hazard and vulnerability

    We are all vulnerable. Sometimes through exposure to the same thing. Sometimes to things to which we alone are exposed. Sometimes because of things that are about us – our characteristics or nature. Sometimes because of things that are imposed upon us by others..


    Unknown Unknowns

    Decision making

    Poor decision making
    Irresponsible Mountain Goats
    Unaccountable leadership
    “OughtWe” is a free app
    “Decision Making App” costs under $US5


    A single metaphor can trigger many reflections and considerations

    … can we live in (blissful / delusional) ignorance?
  • Manage your Sword of Damocles
    Damocles ponders his circumstances
    (part of painting Sword of Damocles” by Richard Westall, 1812)
    Start by considering your threats / hazards
    The internationally respected standard is a good place to start. Use it to filter which threats or hazards might be relevant to you.
    Don’t like the NFPA classifications and hazard categories? Fine – tailor your own.
    … and within the categories, add and edit specific hazards!
    Attribute a level of significance (on a scale up to ten) to the threats or hazards which made it through your initial “might be relevant” filter.
    We assess risk in order to better manage it.
    We are all variously vulnerable.
    Configure your report and communicate it!
  • Add silent scooters – and silent policy – as one of your hazards

    In Melbourne on the weekend I was nearly “cleaned up” a couple of times with near miss e scooter incidents. So I thought I’d do a quick check on some questions around whether it’s an issue in Melbourne – and elsewhere.

    The answer is YES

    Reference: The Age

    In England

    In Adelaide

    Reference: The Advertiser 12 July

    A hazard – whispering up behind

    – or alongside of you

    In a policy vacuum

    What to do? In the absence of clear policy and risk management oversight we are left to our own devices.

    Add e Scotters as one of your hazards.
    We are all differently vulnerable.
    Assess your vulnerability.
  • Future planning calls for good decision making
    Developers have not generally given significant weight to disaster prevention criteria. Climate change calls for a rethink – a recalibration.
    Interesting themes in Mike Foley’s piece

    One of the most interesting themes was Professor Howden highlighting the need for well thought through criteria to be applied to decision making.

    Professor Mark Howden
    Yes, we recommend you consider using our criteria based decision making app
  • Disaster photo opportunity? Blue collar!

    Interesting to see how the politicians dressed for the recent NSW floods.

    They get it.

    Sometimes, small things become big things. President Bush and his public relations team got it – the new head of FEMA (Michael Brown) didn’t get it. Consequently, it has become an iconic image of how NOT to dress – especially with sleeves not rolled up.

  • Yes, we are all different …

    … differently exposed

    … differently vulnerable

    … differently impacted

    Check the app –
  • … so I get another safety guy.
    Risk is a concept we construct to help us manage uncertainty

    This story – from Matt Damon – about Tom Cruise is bemusing because it is about “your risk” – risk you control. However socially imposed risk – especially risk imposed by those with wealth, power, and status, is more problematic. Regardless, both cases call for good decision making. #risky #decisions #decisionmakingprocess

How can I get the Agile Business Continuity app as a tool for use across the organization?

Scale up to Your Flying Fish ‘YourFlyingFish’ – Agile Business Continuity App tailored for you The Agile Business Continuity app can be customized for your organisation – your hazards, your care-abouts, and your risk tolerance – supporting clarity, consistency and conversations

Free app to support your nimble business continuity capability

The Agile Business Continuity app uses a risk-based approach recognizing people have different contexts. We all might share some of the same exposures to extreme events. We all might share some of the same things we care about. However, context is crucial. It is useful to consider how your hazards interface with your vulnerabilities. To… Read More

The biro and pencil – urban myth 101 but also a useful story

One of my favourite scenes from the movie ‘Saving Private Ryan’ illustrates the importance of the “minimum necessary” principle. It also reminds me of the story about America spending big on biro development while Russia achieved the same outcomes using a pencil 😂. Myth. But a good joke – which unfortunately became internet mischief. I… Read More

AgileBCP – favourite feature number 1 – risk criteria

As we enter our finalising stages of our User Acceptance Testing (UAT) for the AgileBCP software platform, it’s time to let the cat out of the bag on some key features. First, for the things you care about, our Business Continuity algorithm focuses on criticality (to operability) and vulnerability (to impact). Central to our thinking… Read More

Improving governance – an opportunity

Introducing an aide-memoire – “YourOughtWe decision-making app” I think it is a useful tool to support better decisions. It addresses several of the key needs being voiced across our community. If you want your “governance people” to look at my offer please share this note and direct them to YourOghtWe description and YourOughtWe example

OughtWe decision app – illustrated with a pinch of fun, and a small example

Introducing the OughtWe decision app
To illustrate the key processes, this blog uses only three criteria (head, heart, gut). OughtWe – as an Expert System – uses a set of default criteria developed across the disaster management sector over decades.
Establishing context – naming and describing the decision to be made, identifying options and their rationales, generating decision criteria and attributing weightings to them, applying the decision criteria to evaluate each option, and taking the preferred option into a plan.
Tweak for Context
Attributing weightings to Head, Heart, and Gut decision criteria
Evaluating – recording the associated rationales
Display the evaluation to stimulate conversations
Structure your plan to be as simple as possible
Planning is about monitoring and refinement
Communicate throughout by screen shares and tailored reports