Insights from our team of experts

What is Presilience®?

The world we live in today is volatile, uncertain, complicated and ambiguous (VUCA). The old style of compliance-based risk management is proving to be ineffective in dealing with the challenges of today’s world. Just look at 2020 as an example – Royal Commissions, devastating bushfires, COVID-19, economic recession and global political tension on the rise.

How can individuals, teams and organisations not only survive, but thrive in such challenging conditions? Read more to find out!

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eLearning Design for Retention

Regardless of which sector your organisation operates in, you are likely to have some experience with eLearning.

If you are a training provider, this might be a core component of your business. If you are not, then you have been exposed to eLearning through staff development and training programs, or other initiatives in your organisation.

With the changes to the global business environment resulting from COVID-19, the reliance on online and distant learning has grown, and will grow, significantly.

But let’s face it, eLearning has developed a reputation for having a ‘death by scrolling’ approach, and is often used more like a Dropbox than a platform designed to engage and educate. This often results in poor retention.

But what does ‘retention’ mean, and how can you optimise it to benefit your organisation?

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Decision Making, Risk and Your Three Lives, Pt 3: Propelling Yourself Forward

Building good risk management practices means building individual decision-making from the ground up, and giving members of our organisation the awareness and knowledge to make better decisions in their personal and family life first. This will, without a doubt, reflect in better decision-making at work. You can read more about this here and here.

Following from COVID-19 and other events this year that have seen businesses face unprecedented, unlikely, and/or devastating changes, many have been left wondering – why did our standard operating procedures, pandemic plans, etc., did not prepare us for what happened? And how do we get back to pre-COVID (or other shock) level of operations?

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Decision Making, Risk and Your Three Lives, Pt. 2: It’s NOT as Complicated as You Think

We all play different roles at different times – parent, friend, employee, leader, employer, manager, partner, spouse, etc. But separating these is becoming harder and harder with technological advancement and globalisation. More and more, the lines between the three aspects of life – work, personal and virtual – are blurring, and even more so with remote work being the standard during the COVID crisis.

Here is where this gets interesting.

Expecting people to have vastly different quality between their personal decision making and work decision-making is naive, and dangerous.

To rephrase – how can we expect people to regularly make great decisions at work, if they regularly make poor decisions in their personal or online life?

Here is an example that may resonate with many of you during COVID 19:

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Decision-Making, Risk and Your Three Lives

Risk can be defined as the effect of uncertainty on possible outcomes. This means every decision, at every level of the organisation, has some level of risk to it. Effective decision-making lies at the heart of managing risk. And managing risk, now more than ever, is the responsibility of every individual within an organisation.


Unfortunately, traditional risk management approaches and systems are often ineffective when it comes to getting individuals to make good decisions. Read more to find out why!

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Recognising a Presilience® Culture – Gilead Sciences Inc.

  • Recently Bloomberg Businessweek released an article highlighting Gilead Sciences Inc. in a rare example of foresight amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic.
  • A Presilience® approach focuses foresight and proactively managing uncertainty, rather than reaction and recovery.
  • Gilead’s investigational medicine, Remdesivir has been shown to aid in combatting a wide range of Coronaviruses, including MERS and SARS, and now COVID-19.
  • In January, Gilead pre-emptively put together a task force to investigate the effectiveness of Remdesivir against COVID-19 and establish supply channels to mass produce the drug in the event of a pandemic.
  • Due to this Presilient approach, Gilead not only established that Remdesivir could be effective in fighting COVID-19, but have also managed to save valuable time by purchasing the requisite raw materials well ahead of COVID-19 reaching pandemic status and cutting up to 50% of the time it takes to mass produce the drug.
  • Remdesivir was authorised in May for use on emergency cases and expects to be authorised for wider use in the coming weeks and months.

Bloomberg Businessweek released an article highlighting the foresight of Gilead Sciences Inc., with the experimental broad-spectrum Coronavirus investigational medicine, Remdesivir. Whilst the drug is still in clinical trials, it has shown promise in fighting COVID-19. However, the true Presilient nature of the company is not in its development of the drug, but rather in their foresight in planning for the possibility of a Pandemic and the steps they have taken to be proactively prepared and resilient.

The new Presilience® approach shifts focus away from an emphasis on planning, procedures, systems and recovery, which are essentially established to avoid the mistakes of the past, and focuses rather on the people who are managing and responding to risk. Presilience® is about enhancing their inherent skills and capabilities to be adaptable, flexible and agile in response and then building the systems to support them as opposed to making them fit into the system. Essentially Presilience® is about foresight, planning and managing uncertainty – where resilience is focused on recovery, Presilience® is focused on forward thinking.

We live in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world now, and the move towards Presilience® is a fundamental requirement in the way we do business.

The Gilead case embodies this approach:



Prior to  becoming a pandemic, the news about the newly discovered Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), in Wuhan made its way to VP for Discovery Virology at Gilead, Tomas Cihlar on 31 December 2019. At that stage, very little was known about the virus, apart from the fact that it could be a new coronavirus.

Whilst the world largely continued on as usual, blissfully unaware of the impending pandemic, Gilead immediately sprung into action to prepare for the “what if… “, should a pandemic arise. Gilead had previously developed Remdisivir, a drug that was found to be helpful in combatting a wide variety of viruses, including several Coronavirus strains such as SARS and MERS. The news of a possible new Coronavirus was enough to have Gilead CEO and Chairman, Daniel O’Day pre-emptively spring into action.


Presilience® in Action

Despite the difficulties in mass producing a drug like Remdesivir (which by all accounts appears to be more complex than many other drugs), and the fact that Gilead had very little raw materials ready on hand to produce the drug on a large scale, CEO Daniel O’Day rapidly put together a task force to further investigate the novel Coronavirus.

Starting with establishing the effectiveness of the drug on the emerging new Coronavirus, the task force started working on a plan to establish a robust supply chain for the raw materials required to quickly mass produce the drug. At this stage in January the virus had not yet become a pandemic and hopes were high that it could be contained.  Regardless, the team at Gilead ordered the most crucial raw materials from all over the world in preparation.

Further, in an open letter, released at the beginning of April, Mr O’Day revealed that whilst the manufacturing process for Remdesivir was complex, time consuming and required highly specialised lab environments, the task force has tirelessly worked on reducing manufacturing time by 50% through repurposing of facilities and expanding external manufacturing partners. Practically, this means that the end-to-end manufacturing time-line has been reduced to 6 months (from 12 months). This could not have happened if Gilead’s approach had been reactionary rather than Presilient.

Gilead should be lauded for their foresight and approach to tackling this pandemic well ahead of the global COVID-19 eruption, truly embodying the concept of Presilience® and Presilient leadership.

Remdesivir was authorised in May for use on emergency cases and expects to be authorised for wider use in the coming weeks and months.



Gilead. (2020, May 20). About Remdesivir. Retrieved from Gilead:

Gilead. (2020, May 05). Working to Supply Remdesivir for COVID-19. Retrieved from Gilead:

Langreth, R. (2020, May 14). All Eyes on Gilead. Retrieved from Bloomberg:

O’Day, D. (2020, April 04). An Update on COVID-19 from our Chairman & CEO. Retrieved from Stories @Gilead:

Schneider, G., & McGuirk, T. (2020, April 06). The move towards Presilience – Dr Gavriel Schneider & Tony Mcguirk. Retrieved from IFSEC Global:


Top five resources to get you through COVID-19

COVID-19 has changed the way we do things. As organisations, as teams, as friends, as families and as individuals.

The change has come suddenly. And the situation keeps changing, which is likely to continue.

This has taken a huge toll on many of us in terms of our health – physically, mentally and emotionally.

Keeping yourself healthy, fit, active, and mentally well during this time has to be a top priority and many of the normal ways we do this are off-limits for an indeterminable period of time.

We have scoured the internet for the best free, or at least affordable, resources to assist you with boosting your own personal resilience and making this time productive.

Here are the top five resources to get you through COVID 19:

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5 tips for better balance, productivity and stress management when working from home

Achieving balance between our work life, personal life and online life has become harder and harder in recent years. Answer the following two questions (and be honest):

  1. How many hours are you in front of a screen – any type of screen, phones included – in a typical day?
  2. How regularly do your work and personal life mix, especially in the online world?
    For example, how many times a day do you check work emails on your phone at home, outside of work hours, or on weekends? How often do you do a quick scan of Facebook or send a meme to a friend on your computer at work?

To give you an idea, if you have a smart phone and a tv, and you work in an office environment, it’s not unusual for us to hear answers like 10-12 hours a day, with work and personal commitment blurring throughout those times.

There is also ample evidence that those increasingly-blurring lines have a significant negative impact on our productivity, focus, stress levels and mental health.

We are now faced with the reality that most of us will have to work from home, and for an indeterminable amount of time. This has added a layer of complexity. Some common things you may feel at the moment are:

  • A sense of isolation from your team, colleagues, work mates and organisation
  • A lack of achievement, creativity and productivity
  • Inability to focus on work tasks
  • Generally low morale
  • A feeling that you are at work all the time or not at all, which can create frustration and confusion

I’m fortunate enough to have worked as a consultant in education and management for the past 17 years. This means that I’ve had both the luxury and burden of working from home for nearly 2 decades. It means I’ve had plenty of opportunities to get things wrong.

It also means I’ve had plenty of time to learn what works.

Here are 5 tips to help you achieve better balance, productivity and stress management when working from home

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7 Mistakes Organisations Make When Tackling Customer Aggression

I’ve been working around customer aggression and workplace violence for close to 15 years now. In that time, I’ve worked amongst a variety of industries including, but not limited to:

  • Hospitality and liquor retail
  • Private security
  • Hotel and resort industry
  • Hospitals and healthcare
  • Human services and community support roles
  • Travel and aviation
  • Funeral industry
  • Service stations and late-night retail
  • Fast food
  • Banking
  • Utilities
  • Government service centres
  • Local council functions (parking, waste management, etc.)

All of these industries have had their own issues with customer aggression and workplace violence. Whether we like to admit it or not, when we put our people into customer-facing roles, we expose them to the risk of aggression. In roles where they will occasionally either give someone unwanted news or deal with alcohol and/or drug affected persons, that risk is magnified.

To their credit, I haven’t had a single client or employer who simply didn’t care about their staff being abused or assaulted at work. Everyone I spoke to agreed that not feeling safe at work wasn’t acceptable. They had all, to some degree, implemented treatments to control that risk.

So why wasn’t it working?

After 15 years of researching and working in this field, these are the most common mistakes I’ve found well-intentioned organisations making.

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What is Security Culture? by Colin Pecats

It’s security. It’s culture. It’s the vibe, and uh, that’s it, it’s the vibe!

‘We have such a great culture at our office.’ are words which could mean so many different things to different people.

When “culture” takes on different meanings to different people, cultural change becomes highly prone to failure.

If nobody bothers to define what this apparently mystical thing is that we refer to as “culture”, how can we expect to begin to change it?

The reality is, security culture (any type of “culture” for that matter) is not some ethereal concept, it is measurable, enforceable, and it is malleable. Security culture is both the desirable and undesirable security behaviours of people.

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