Reviewer of the book “Security Leadership Creativity” is the distinguished professional in the field Nir Ran, director of Homeland Security Academy at the Academic College at Wingate, Israel.

The Homeland Security Academy at Wingate College | Wingate Institute, Israel 4290200 |
+972 98639371 | info@axiomsec.com | www.hls-academy.com

REVIEW

ABOUT THE BOOK

For hundreds and thousands of years a debate has been taking place on whether the nature of man is essentially good or essentially bad. It is the debate on whether the natural state of man is “live and let live” or “might makes right”. This discussion has blessed our culture with fascinating essays by great thinkers such as Plato, Hobbes, Locke, Machiavelli, and many, many others.
This book is about security, and when dealing with security it examine things from a practical point of view. Although, without a doubt, the vast majority of people do not wish to harm their fellow men, they want the best for themselves (and for those dear to them) but not at the price of harming others. Yet, when it comes to security, our attention is focused on the bad minority – those who have both capability and motivation to harm others, whether a nation, the public, or an organization. Whether the aim is to cause injuries and damage for purposes of terrorism, for the purpose of obtaining material reward for themselves through criminal acts, or in order to overcome competitors by illegitimate means.
Since most men are good by nature, they also attribute good intentions to others. People, including most executives at every managerial level, are not suspicious and are not built to think in terms of survival under threat. And this is for the best.
A statement attributed to Albert Einstein, quoted in the first chapter of the book – “The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it” – leads the reader directly to the practical solution of the issue. There is a professional field dedicated to fighting evil, and there are people whose job that is.
Nonetheless, the book does not deal only with security in the face of manmade threats, it also deals with the contention of security apparatuses vis-à-vis the threat of natural disasters. It is a very rare combination in the professional literature on security, and it is correct. A series of dramatic events that took place in the past half century clarified just how important it is to include both issues together under the comprehensive umbrella of Homeland Security, even if they are two different professional subfields. In this aspect, the author may be a pioneer in literature, thus he points to a trend that has already been identified and is being implemented in several countries.
The first chapter of the book deals with definitions, presenting the challenges and the main concept of security – on both organizational and national levels. The analogy that the author makes, between the individual and the organization and nation, is interesting and surprising, in his presentation and comparison of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and the position of security on that scale. Impressively, this comparison is quite accurate (and there are many more such intellectual “tricks” in the book). Yet, the author does not exempt himself from expanding, detailing and differentiating between motivations and interests that we protect with security, as they are different and separate. Indeed, the public, the organization and the nation are different from the individual in terms of security needs. The challenges and concept of security are presented here in absolute congruence.
The second chapter of the book, titled Security Management Philosophy, deals with security management and the balance between “what the public wants” and “what the public needs”. It focuses mainly on the strategic level – the “what”. This leads to the third chapter, Security Management Technology, which is, professionally speaking, the core of the book. It deals with the “how”. The author skillfully specifies the technical and conceptual aspects of security actions. He also presents the ethical and operative checks and balances. This is where professionalism is manifested – how to maintain a security apparatus that is both effective and efficient (cost-effective) on the one hand, while on the other hand effecting maximum oppression of opponents with minimum harm to individual and public freedom.
After presenting the routine security management and all the proactive operation that must be taken in order to face the coming threat – no doubt: the best way to deal with emergencies is to prevent them – chapter 4 is about the unpreventable, Crisis Management and Modern Challenges. Here, too, the author emphasizes the perceptual combination of contending with manmade threats (enemies) and natural disasters. In this short yet important chapter, emphasis is placed, among other things, on Crisis Communication, an issue whose importance and implications cannot be overestimated in terms of the results and the long-term consequences of a crisis. Inconsiderate, irresponsible or careless communication can intensify crises, and even lead to secondary crises, whereas effective and efficient communication can enlist the entire public and all organizations to joint action at best, or at least to containment.
Chapter 5, The “Creativity” Factor, is an edifying essay in and of itself. This chapter is worthy and appropriate with regard to most professional discipline, not only to security. Creativity is the name of the game, and it is the guarantee for victory. A glance at history teaches us that creativity and thinking outside the box were at the root of most of the great victories, whereas routine and by-the-book are synonyms for stagnation.
The greatness of this book is twofold:
First, it addresses three relevant populations at once – senior executives, security professionals, and students and people who wish to understand how security fits into the life of organizations and nations. Second, the precision with which the book presents the threat and the contention with it – the risk and the risk management.
One of the most significant advantages held by those we call “enemies” or “opponents” is that senior executives in organizations treat security as professionally exterritorial. In this respect, the book is an opportunity for change. It is sufficiently comprehensive and thorough as a theoretical basis for security professionals, and is also comprehensible and accessible for senior executives and for officeholders in public administrations and organizations managements. The identification of threats and risks is a matter for experts, decision making is a matter for leaders; cooperation between the two is essential.
For security professionals, this book is a manual. For senior executives and organizational leaders, it’s a roadmap – an aid to orientation and decision making. For students and general readers, this is a fascinating book that sheds light on a field that is usually hidden in the managerial and political sciences.

Nir Ran, Tel Aviv, December 2018