Conventionality belongs to yesterday

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

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The Past

During my previous career, I managed emergencies and crisis, in one form or another; and over the last two and half years or so, I’ve helped to coach and develop others, to help enable emergency and business continuity management to be enhanced and achieved.

I like to think I have broken down a few barriers with my style of writing and approach but I guess the old guard might still think otherwise. Traditional and formal old boys network approaches remain in the dominance in places.

But I still believe we have a great opportunity in front of us, to take resilience forward and onto another level. We can do it!

In all of my professional career, I have seen ‘working together’ and through observation, experience and culture, I have seen a fair share of silo working too!

Observers see things more clearly sometimes than insiders

Thankfully the ‘silo’ mentality should now be diminished somewhat but it is still present or thereabouts if you look, listen and feel.

The Present

Over the last month, I had the opportunity to go and see the legendary Frankie Valli.Some might be thinking.. Frankie who? That’s Frankie Valli, of the Four Seasons fame; the Jersey Boys, (and not to be confused with Vivaldi’s…. Four Seasons). My musicality range is quite broad from spinning as well as being a bit eclectic.

Anyway, Frankie V was on great form (he is around about 83 years old) and he is now sporting a new set of ‘Four Seasons’on his world tour. An enhancement, perhaps?

He covered his old hits on the night which were fab and then he reminded the audience that he sang the title track to the hit movie Grease. The track was composed by Barry Gibb of The Bee Gees.

There is a line in the song which goes:

‘We take the pressure and we throw away, conventionality, belongs to yesterday’

The words struck a big chord with me a week later as I attended a number of conferences; listened to a number of speakers and read some more publications by subject matter experts on resilience.

In 2017, this amazing year for resilience (or it could be) we still hear senior professionals, (‘thought leaders’), telling us “we are working together with our multi agency partners”. 

‘You need to work with your partners and stakeholders to be prepared’ is another set of ‘wordporn’, pearls of wisdom we hear.

No shit Sherlock! 

I don’t believe it is still acceptable to be using these statements anymore as a way of trying to convince the public that progress is being made. That we are improving our capabilities and resilience constantly. Always improving.

Working together is expected in 2017. It is a given. No excuses. No need to remind us each time there is an opportunity to showcase our improvements.

It is about the effects of working together that is important. How is it working in terms of quality rather than quantity?

The Future

What we need to see and hear more of, are the new ways in which working together is actually making a difference to the future. For everyone and not just a select group of organizations.

We have a wealth of highly experienced, highly talented, highly paid professionals, in both the private and public sectors, all saying and doing the things that they believe, they are expected to say.

And equally troubling, is the way they continue to say it today; in the same format and style of the past. Death by power point and presenting the report style format rather than 100% ground breaking positivity.

We need some creativity. Throw away the conventional approach.

In the future, actually, in the present, we need to be convinced and be more convincing, that working together is just an expected reality. It isn’t progress anymore. It is reality. Don’t remind us you’re working together. And? So what? Who are you trying to convince; yourself? The point is?….

Conventional methods of communicating resilience need to be more ‘today’; more creative and inventive to inspire resilience in everyone.

Frankie Says…..

Conventionality, belongs to yesterday

Paul M Kudray

MSc FICPEM MEPS CBCI


International leader in business resilience consultancy, training and coaching; Paul is an ex-emergency services commander who finished an exemplary 32 year career in the UK healthcare sector, working for the NHS – culminating in 7½ years as the Director of Resilience for one of the world’s largest ambulance services, NWAS NHS Trust. He now works with private and public sector clients around the world, training, advising, coaching and mentoring them at the highest levels about emergency and business continuity management. He is a business resilience innovator.

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