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Timely topics at executive update.

You are a member of a civil defense committee appointed by the president to make decisions on fallout shelter occupancy. A cataclysmic war has just been waged. The occupants of a fallout shelter in your domain are the only people who have a good chance to survive. Ten people occupy that shelter, but a computer has calculated that the shelter can guarantee survival only for six. Your committee must decide who may live to rebuild society.

This scenario and a host of other challenging topics kept the participants at ASIS Executive Update '94, held in Washington, D.C., keenly attentive to the presentations throughout the three-day conference. "This program was as good if not better than any I've attended in my career," said Ray Rose, CPP, who served as program advisor. "The subjects were applicable to any person in executive management."

A record number of attendees learned the latest developments in organized crime in Eastern Europe and in security practices in the former Soviet Union. Details on these pertinent subjects were presented by Jim Moody, FBI section chief, organized crime/drug operations, Washington, D.C., and Dennis Pluchinshy, senior analyst, Office of Intelligence & Threat Assessment, U.S. State Department, also in the nation's capital.

Moody shed light on the business world within the former Soviet Union and discussed how various new countries are struggling to enjoy free enterprise. Pluchinshy presented an overview of Eastern European hot spots and explained why territorial wars are continuing.

The most timely presentation of the conference was made by Howard Fineman, chief political correspondent for Newsweek. Fineman spoke to the group the day after the November election, and shared his analysis of the mood of the country, the messages sent by the electorate, and the resulting reconfiguration of political power.

"The session turned into a Q&A," says William Platts, CPP, president of the W. H. Platts Company, Charleston, S.C. "Fineman took out his prepared remarks when he started the session, but the next time he referred to them was when he put them away. We spent the whole time discussing the election. It was very enlightening," adds Platts, who has attended every Executive Update.

Attendees were also intrigued by discussions on the information superhighway. Ellen Kirsh, Esq., an attorney with America On Line, pointed out the relatively new legal blockades and avenues that are challenging users of electronic information.

Specifically, she addressed the contents of e-mail, which are protected under the Fourth Amendment and privacy laws with some exceptions. Companies should develop an internal policy on e-mail to ensure that it is used only for official business. From a copyright perspective, the digital format of the communication does not change the law.

Looking at the Internet from another perspective, Jeffrey Joseph, vice president, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, reviewed the history of interactive technology and highlighted promising future adaptations. "What's new yesterday is old tomorrow," he commented. Developing nations are equipping classrooms with computers, he said, meaning new generations of the world's leaders will have expanded technical and communications know-how. The United States, Joseph lamented, is being less aggressive in updating classroom capabilities, which could mean future generations will not be able to compete in the global marketplace.

Mindy Klasky, Esq., senior associate with a prominent Washington, D.C.-based law firm, delved into the murky realm of intellectual property, which includes trademarks, patents, copyrights, and trade secrets. She noted that the Software Publishers Association and the Business Software Alliance are working actively to pursue pirated software through audits of corporate computer installations. To avoid problems, advised Klasky, companies should develop a written software compliance program and conduct periodic internal audits.

The Executive Update agenda integrated management topics into each day's program. Bill Cates, who heads his own motivational consulting firm, gave tips on how to get employees to buy into new policies. Dennis Johnson, Ph.D., president of Behavior Analysts, Stuart, Florida, presented a baseline profile of a violent employee and suggested ways to intervene before incidents flare up.

The final session was led by George-Anne Fay, who consults with companies in the midst of change. She postulated that the best way to lead through change was to understand the profiles of the people involved. She helped attendees work through their own personal profile to determine various tendencies. Understanding differences between yourself and others, she summarized, can maximize productivity and teamwork within organizations.

Executive Update is the culmination of ASIS's educational programming and is specifically geared toward top management executives within the security profession. The next offering of Executive Update will be October 25-27, 1995, in Washington, D.C.
COPYRIGHT 1995 American Society for Industrial Security
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1995 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:American Society for Industrial Security conference
Publication:Security Management
Date:Jan 1, 1995
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