Except for the economy. There’s a solid partnership story, in the preceding story in this issue, as Chad Deaton, CEO of Baker Hughes Inc. works with Russ Cancilla, Baker Hughes’ vice president of security and health, safety and environment.
Still many CEOs and C Suite executives have another fish to fry today. It’s called survival.
That doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate their security executives and the operation of it. And they see growing value in security as a business tool. It is really more up to the chief security officer or security director to make a new case.
Annually, Security Magazine surveys 100 CEOs and Presidents asking them to score their security operation in 14 categories. This year, they were also asked to label the importance of those 14 elements from critical and essential to important.
Also interviewed were top security executives as to how they perceive their relationship with the big boss.
For security executives, it comes down to trust and confidence.
Chris McColm, CPP, corporate security manager, Manitoba Hydro and Gas, said, “I believe CEOs typically view the security operation as an internal insurance policy.”
He added, “Our CEO has displayed his support for our program by ensuring that we are complying with security standards in the industry and ensuring that we are protecting our critical assets by providing reliable electricity to our customers in Canada and the U.S. The most important elements between the top security executive and his CEO are trust and confidence. If a CEO can trust the decisions being made by the security executive are in line with corporate business ethics and policy, then the CEO will be confident that the security executive is protecting his corporation’s assets. This goes far in the boardroom when security is asking for money to spend on certain projects or events.”
Protecting assets is – today – a shared responsibility and a top one. Protecting employees is both a crucial mission and one that is done well, according to the 2009 What CEOs Think of Security survey by Security Magazine.
As in most relationships, solid communications is essential. Mike Cummings, CPP, director, loss prevention services, Aurora Health Care, said, “We who are responsible for the security function must be strong communicators around what risks we have identified and how we are or need to mitigate those based on the organization’s best interest. We need to be visionary and able to see how we align with where the organization is going and be able to communicate options whenever possible with clearly identified benefits and challenges associated with each option.”