The Similarities between security and the 0 – 16 Cleveland Browns

For one of the oldest and proudest franchises in the NFL the Cleveland Browns are a dismal failure. From the time they were formed in 1946 through the early 70’s, when they moved to the AFC, and then the 80s they were one of the most daunting franchises and winningest within the NFL. After being re born in the 2000s they have for the most part been miserable failures.

The past two seasons have seen 1 win in 32 games. They have been consistently searching for a coach, linemen, quarterback, and every other part of a winning team. Yet, the formula eludes them. Some games they look like a mediocre but competent team, yet figure a way to lose due to stupid mistakes…from everyone.

But how can a failure of a professional team compare to the security profession? The two are not even close to each other in the way they operate or business models. So you think. But the business models are closer than we would like to think.

From ownership down to the coaching staff the Browns rely on a technique that many in the security profession do as well. It has failed the Browns miserably and it isn’t helping the security profession to keep qualified and excellent people.

It is a little thing called metrics and analytics. The Browns embraced this way of judging players and the way they would perform on the field in their system. It is plainly obvious that it hasn’t worked very well. This is mainly due to the fact that you can’t measure confidence, heart, motivation, and determination accurately in people.

The security profession does the same thing with the innumerable number of analytics and the metrics of what has happened and what may occur. While this has been successful to a certain degree, without true human observation and interaction, we are reduced to the mere cold hard numbers. Remember the cold hard statistics I presented in 2015? Those show the tragedy of workplace violence (WPV).

Yet those analytics/numbers show that only a couple of businesses will be affected by a shooting in the workplace. Therefore security and other business professionals put a low priority on the subject. Some have commented to me that “The possibility is so remote that it’s hardly worth fretting about!”

Yet the realization that a firearm is the least used instrument of WPV comes as a mild shock to most of them. “I never even thought about a coffee cup, verbal tirades, stapler, or French fries being weapons” Let me tell you something friends, when hot greasy fries land on your hand it can be quite…uncomfortable. Think about them landing on your face.

I have harped on this aspect of security for a long time…that we rely too much on technology in the field and not enough on the thought processes and intelligence of the officers themselves. Should we even mention their observational skills? After all isn’t that why most of them are out there to observe and report (yuck)?

I do believe that if any contract security company and to a lesser extent proprietary departments, would lean backwards towards developing their officers and learning from them (yes management can learn more than they want if they do that) then we would all be safer and probably have less loss in the retail and service sectors.

Can you actually imagine if security managers, both contract and proprietary, actually trusted the judgement and observations of their officers, employees, and not just dismissing them? If we did, it may stop the 300% turnover rate which helps everyone. What a concept!

With the increase of analytics and metrics within security we have lost the personal touch necessary to avoid problems. That means that we rely on those analytics and metrics to tell us everything we need to know and for the most part ignore what our/their observational skills tell us. You can take a quarterback from a primarily passing offensive system and force them to play in a system that is a combination, or majority, of running and passing. The failure of so many quarterbacks from the Big 12 Conference the past few years should prove that.

Yet, using analytics and metrics are like trying to put a square peg into a round hole. If the hole is big enough of course it will fit.  But if they are the same size…eh not so much and an officer is lost because they were in the wrong ‘system’.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with analytics and metrics. We have been using them for decades in one way or another. But in our techno world we are losing sight of what is important and can potentially spot security issues long before the issue actually bubbles to the top and becomes a problem, listening by relying less on analytics and more or the human officers in the forefront.

Robert D. Sollars assists businesses and their employees to lessen their risk of WPV as well as other security/customer service related issues with time tested and proven ideas. You can follow him on his Facebook page,, or twitter@robertsollars2.

                                     I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear

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