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Snowflake Syndrome: when should we be unique vs. boiler plate?

One of the challenges we have in risk management, crisis management, and security management is striking a balance between customized and standard solutions. Customized solutions and approaches tend to be more expensive now (implementation) and later (maintenance). However, customized solutions resolve specific requirements. Standard solutions tend to be cheaper, but we don’t get exactly what we want. Our challenge is balancing requirements and spend to get the most out of our budgets.

When is good good enough?

Jeremy Stynes, Lootok’s CCO / CTO, has coined a term he calls Snowflake Syndrome. Snowflake syndrome is when someone believes that they are so unique they demand special attention and design - but reality is ... they’re not special. They believe their project/initiative/program is one-of-a-kind, a snowflake. The challenge of the Snowflake Syndrome is rooted in people’s mental models. People can suffer from the syndrome when they confuse their personal uniqueness, or desire to be unique, with the organizational program they are responsible for. It can also come from working in organizational environments that lack standardization and procedures; therefore snowflake solutions are everywhere. It is easy to believe you are a snowflake when everything and everyone around you is a snowflake. Snowflake thinking can lead to overly complex (unique) design and processes. Anytime we see inconsistent design or costly overruns the snowflake syndrome is close by.

Snowflake
Snowflake syndrome

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Why are cyber threats on top of every executive’s mind?

Sharing a few thoughts on cyber security…

I was on the phone last week with a data visualization expert and author discussing visualization problem solving—basically, how to solve problems or at least understand problems with pictures (i.e., drawing pictures). He asked a question about cyber security: “Why is a cyber threat so scary? Isn’t it just another threat?” He was right… in part—cyber is another threat, just like infectious disease, civil unrest, flood, power outage, fire, war, or accident. While we use common frameworks and capabilities for threats such as command and control, situation awareness, threat intelligence, common operating picture, common ground, and so forth, each threat has unique characteristics we need to consider. Why is cyber security on the top of every executive’s mind? It comes down to six (6) characteristics of a cyber threat:

  1. Intentional
  2. Speed
  3. Wild
  4. Interconnectedness
  5. Location
  6. Detectability

There’s a mnemonic for these six (6) characteristics: “is wild.”

Person under cyberthreat
Cyber attack

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Methodology

Lootok has three methodologies that drive our operations: Activity-Based Collaboration™, The Lootok Demand Model™ , and Get Ready, Stay Alert, Take Action™.

mod
The MOD board game

 

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Challenges and opportunities of omnichannel retailing

The retail sector faces risk challenges ranging from cyber security threats to active shooter incidents. These threats, coupled with advances in new technologies, social media and public perceptions of risk have required the retail sector to reevaluate the resiliency of their business.

Written by Lootok’s Sweta Chakraborty and Iris Chung.

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Understanding the human element of risk

When it comes to managing risk, one oft-overlooked aspect is risk perception, or how we perceive a threat. What we believe or do not believe about risks has an enormous effect on how well we prepare ourselves for them, and the action we take when they occur. What factors into our fears, and how do they impact our decision-making?

Risk perception
Risk perception

 

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Reinvigorating BCM: The power of co-creation

More and more, successful organizations are realizing that a meaningful “customer experience” involves the co-creation of a product.  What does co-creation look like in business continuity?

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What’s in a name? Dissecting Nemo.

Why all the ruckus about naming a winter storm? Sometimes, the intention behind the names is to draw the public’s attention to severe weather. While winter storms may not have as large of an impact as hurricanes, they can often be erratic; for example, dumping snow in one area while leaving nothing more than rain or fog in another. Now, it’s becoming clear that superstorms have hype cycles of their own.

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A funny take on risk perception

When it comes to risk perception, we are notoriously prone to misconceptions. Whether fearing planes over bikes or elevators over stairs, we have a tendency to misjudge just how dangerous certain situations are.

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