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The benefit of analysis.

An employee in a different department was exploring career options in the corporate security department of AGT Limited, a telephone company operating in Alberta. He inquired about the nature of our work and our organization.

In the old days, I simply would have described the situations we become involved in, the investigations we conduct, and the requests we receive. Times have changed.

Today's environment of deregulation, competition, and thin profit margins has forced security groups to reexamine the way they do business. Rather than reacting to crime, now security spends dollars preventing crime. To this end, corporate security at AGT conducted an intensive mandate review and refocused its efforts through proactivity and customer service.

The review's ultimate objective was to provide a complete picture of what we do for whom, how we do it, how we know we've completed it, and how well we've done it. We examined the department's activity flow and evaluated and redesigned our mission statement, key results areas, goals, and objectives. As a result, corporate security has a refreshed mandate that is responsive to an ever-changing environment.

Our mission statement reads: "Corporate security serves its stakeholders and facilitates the safeguarding of AGT's assets in a manner consistent with corporate values and principles through a commitment to continuous improvement."

This statement deals specifically with security's primary reason for existence: to protect corporate assets, be they human, material, or informational. The word "stakeholders" is a broad term that denotes everyone corporate security serves, including shareholders, subscribers, and company employees.

The phrase "corporate values and principles" refers to a codified corporate philosophy of excellence. This philosophy contemplates values pertaining to customers, employees, the business, and our responsibilities to the community and the environment.

The logical outgrowths of the mission statement are key results areas. These are all the major areas where a security manager invests time, energy, talent, and other resources. They include the following:

* strategic management--long-term planning

* operations management--day-to-day operations

* human resources management--staff and training

* performance control--results measurement, quality, and appraisals

* internal relationships--within department or company

* external relationships--outside of company

* special projects--defined dates and progress assessment

The mission statement and the key results areas are the foundation for building goals. The realization of the following goals determines whether security is mediocare or excellent:

* developing and implementing appropriate security policies and practices

* having a well-trained and professional security staff

* creating and maintaining a commitment to quality service

* establishing preventive measures

* reducing unauthorized and illegal internal activities

* preventing and detecting unauthorized access to or use of AGT systems and facilities

* continually improving corporate security's external working relationships

* maintaining an adaptive and results-oriented work environment

Each goal has as many as seven or eight objectives. These serve as milestones for measuring progress toward the goal. As an example, an objective for creating and maintaining a commitment to quality service is "to develop a framework for measuring customer satisfaction by (date) at a cost not to exceed...."

Developing and implementing appropriate security policies and practices may be achieved in part by this objective: "to meet with significant internal and external security stakeholders on a regular basis to review the provisioning of security services at a cost not to exceed...."

Most objectives become part of a formal process where logical actions, dates, durations, costs, success indicators, and participants in a plan are determined. The quality of results can be assessed through these plans.

The mission statement, key results areas, goals, objectives, and their success indicators were not built in a day. They were the fruit of dedicated security, human resources, and management professionals. The underlying philosophy is that the corporate security mandate is a dynamic entity. Annual reviews of the mission will be conducted, and as the environment changes, so shall the mission statement.

All too often security departments and organizations are seen as the company police force, out to catch bad guys. However, it is critical for security personnel to be seen as something more than police officers. They must be able to beat the bad guy to the punch through proactive philosophies and practices.

Security groups must not be feared. Instead, they should be viewed as security professionals who are friendly, approachable, and farsighted and who have the best interests of the stakeholders at heart.

Security groups must actively market themselves. While they sometimes have a tough sell in demonstrating value to corporations, the news is not all bad. Security groups that analyze and redesign their mandates find instant benefits in identifying and demonstrating their valuable functions in an organization. Then it becomes a matter of fulfilling their mandate and pursuing excellence.

Walter G. Pigeon, CPP, is manager of corporate security-north for AGT Limited in Edmonton, Canada. He is a member of ASIS.
COPYRIGHT 1991 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:analyzing and redesigning mission statements can help security agencies become more competitive
Author:Pigeon, Walter G.
Publication:Security Management
Date:Dec 1, 1991
Previous Article:Head & shoulders above the rest.
Next Article:Applied Security Management.

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