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A Lack of Situational Awareness Costs Business $250Bn/yr.

Business or Security?

Situational awareness is a key factor in a very expensive business problem.

When you think of situational awareness, you likely think of SWAT teams and physical security. You probably don’t think about business. 

We see the phrase so often these days, too often – often where it doesn’t belong.

If you truly want to understand situational awareness, the ultimate authority is Dr. Mica Endsley, former Chief Scientist of the US Air Force, author of over 200 academic articles on the subject.

Define Situational Awareness

But let’s break it down simply.

Situational awareness can be defined as the 

  • Perception 
  • Comprehension, and
  • Direction of the events, environment, and circumstances around us. 

Why is this relevant to business? Situational awareness is crucial for making informed decisions, anticipating potential risks, and ensuring the safety of employees and assets. However, many businesses fail to recognize the importance of situational awareness, which can have severe consequences.

How is it Relevant to Business?

According to the National Institute for the Prevention of Workplace Violence, organizations in the United States spend nearly $250 billion every year responding to violent events. This staggering statistic is just one of the many reasons why businesses must prioritize situational awareness.

Here are some ways in which a lack of situational awareness can be detrimental to the business:

· Increased Insurance and Other Recovery Costs

Businesses that experience security breaches, accidents, or other incidents due to a lack of situational awareness often face an increase in insurance and other recovery costs. This can include medical expenses, property damage, legal fees, and other costs associated with mitigating the incident.

· Lost Revenue After an Incident

An incident can have a significant impact on a business’s revenue, particularly if the incident results in property damage, loss of inventory, or other disruptions to operations. A lack of situational awareness can make it more challenging to anticipate and mitigate potential risks, leading to revenue losses.

· Lost Productivity

When incidents occur, they can disrupt operations and cause delays, leading to lost productivity. This can result in missed deadlines, lower quality work, and unhappy customers.

· Non-Financial Losses Resulting From Incidents

The impact of an incident can extend beyond financial losses and include non-financial losses, such as damage to the business’s reputation, loss of employee morale, and decreased customer loyalty.

· Business Continuity Struggles

A lack of situational awareness can make it challenging for businesses to maintain business continuity in the event of a disaster or other incident. Without a clear understanding of potential risks and the necessary steps to mitigate them, businesses may struggle to resume operations quickly.

· Reputational Impact

Incidents that occur due to a lack of situational awareness can have a severe impact on a business’s reputation. Negative publicity can lead to a loss of trust among customers and partners, resulting in decreased sales and revenue.

Businesses must make situational awareness a priority to mitigate potential risks and ensure the safety of their employees and assets. Failure to do so is costing businesses a lot of money and the trend is such that it is going to cost more in the future.