Exploring the Meaning of Discrepancies Between Policy and Practice

By Chelsea Zfaz

We live in a world in which established policies offer some degree of stability in the face of general chaos in our professional, public and private lives. But what actually is a policy, and how does it actually serve us as individuals, employees and organizations?pic

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a policy is a definite course or method of action selected from among alternatives and in light of given conditions to guide and determine present and future decisions.

A policy is more than just a specified course of action adopted for the sake of efficiency, expediency or prudence; it is a mechanism that should facilitate effectual, strategic decision-making.

So why is it that practice so frequently variates from policy? And- perhaps more importantly- should we be critical of those individuals and organizations whose practices stray from their policies? Or should we commend those who are able to operate independently of established doctrines?


A number of factors play into the answers to these questions. More importantly than either criticizing or commending adherence to policy (or lack thereof), is assessing the underlying causal factors behind such discrepancies.

Why was the policy not implemented into practice? Has the employee of the organization failed to understand the intended function of the policy? Could the policy have been ineffective in practice, and therefore have been deliberately circumvented? Or perhaps the overarching organization fosters a culture of independence and therefore curtails the role of policy?

Understanding the root causes of human behavior and motivation in the context of an organizations’ decision-making and operational processes sheds valuable light on the efficacy of organizations’ policies, practices and ethos.

We at BeST are working closely with Sociologists from various universities in Israel, developing algorithms that will reveal underlying causes behind our clients’ behaviors and decision-making processes.

When preparing for a crisis, understanding why people act as they do can be as important as understanding how people act as they do.

Mitigate Risks. Reduce Vulnerabilities. Prepare for a crisis as BeST you can.

Call us to learn more about how BeST can help you prepare for your next crisis.


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Is the perception of preparedness conducive – or threatening – to preparedness?

In today’s fast-paced and evolving world, both individuals and businesses rarely have as much resources at their disposal as they would like. Across the globe, people are overworked, operations are overloaded and budgets are constrained. So why should we prepare for crises that may not ever occur?

Because being prepared for threats to which you and your business are vulnerable could save human and financial resources tenfold in the future.

BeST would like to welcome Chelsea Zfaz to their team. Chelsea comes from the field of disaster management and has been deployed to a number of countries as part of international emergency response missions.

“Throughout my time working in emergency response, I noticed a trend recurring with nearly everyone I worked with- from government ministers to tribal chiefs- people are pic12rarely as prepared for disasters as they think they are. Experiencing this reality in various disaster zones with so many different stakeholders really sparked my interest in strategic disaster preparedness.”

We cannot prevent all disasters from occurring, but we can reduce our vulnerability to relevant threats and mitigate potential damage and loss of life. The key ingredients to handling any disaster are training and coordination.

Herein lies the innovative value of the BeST system; it prepares individuals and businesses to deal with any crisis by refining decision-making processes and confronting critical strategic dilemmas.

 “In my opinion, one of the most valuable features of the system is its ability to map discrepancies in individual and organizational policy and practice. By tracking differences in organizations’ perceptions of how they will behave in crisis compared to how they actually behave, BeST offers a rare window into organizational learning and development, thus enhancing personal, departmental and organizational problem-solving behaviors and crisis management capacity”.

real Interaction

real Interaction



Expected Interaction

Expected Interaction

 When disaster strikes, the time to prepare has passed. Prepare for tomorrow today.

Call us to learn more about BeST and to organize a demonstration.

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Are you the leader or just a “central” component of your organization’s crisis management process?

As the first quarter of 2017 winds down, we at BeST headquarters sat down to review insights from more than 15 games we carried out in the last few months. Interestingly, we found many recurring themes.

One of these insights can be extracted from our social interactions analysis maps: there is Picture1a fundamental difference between individuals who function as central players and those who function as leaders of crisis management processes.

Our social network analysis (SNA) investigates social structures through the use of networks and graph theories. Our graphs analyze the overarching structures in terms of players or groups of players and the ties, edges, or links that connect them.

During or after games, we are often asked to point out leadership themes and to determine whether the expected leaders stepped up to the challenge or if someone else took control of the crisis management process.

 It is important to point out that leadership is assessed not by the number of different players or interactions a certain individual deals with, but by the types of decisions made and the accountability measures subsequently taken by a certain individual.

As opposed to leadership, centrality means determining which players are essential to the process, even if they are not expected to make critical decisions. These are determined by comparing organizations’ expected processes to real time behaviors and aiming to quantify the “importance” or “influence” of a particular player by use of a number of measurements which assess centrality.

As we learn more about these two important factors of SNA, we have decided to address both issues by enabling our users to input their insights into two new types of maps titled leadership and centrality. This allows BeST users to see which employees in their organizations function as the central nodes of the crisis management apparatuses and which employees function as the real and expected leaders of the crisis management process.

  • Are you the “leader” or are you “central” in your organization crisis management plan?
  • Will the results of a crisis management process of an actual crisis be different than your crisis management plan?

Call us to learn more about BeST and to organize a demonstration.

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BeST is on the GSA Schedule!!

BeST is proud to announce that as part of our growth in the United States we have been approved by the General Services Administration.nav-logo

We can be found on the GSA schedule 70 IT.

Contact us directly  or our US partners in order to see how BeST can help you prepare for the next crisis and help you enhance your business continuity capabilities.




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Success in Washington!!

Finishing a very exciting week in Washington where BeST was used as the main platform to carry out a major Crisis Management War-Game for one of the largest corporations in the USA.download

The Game is considered a great success with BeST receiving rave reviews as to its ability to present encompassing graphic representations to the decision making process and the ability to provide immediate points to the de-briefing process ( or Hotwash as our American friends call it).

For those of you attending Passenger Terminal Expo in Amsterdam in March. we will be there talking about a recent case study with IATA.

Looking forward to hearing from you!!

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Being Prepared – Computerized War-Gaming to Mitigate Cyber Risks

We are proud to announce that BeST is partnering with Mr. Pascal Buchner, IATA Chief ptx2017_20th_colour_datesInformation Officer, to present our latest case study involving the Scenario Platform (Powered by Best) at the Passenger Terminal Expo.

The objective of this joint IATA-BeST presentation is to introduce a case study in which, through using a computerized war-gaming platform, IATA was able to analyze its crisis management processes. The case study will introduce how use of cutting-edge platforms enables an effective and efficient process while maximizing results, enabling the organization to quickly achieve its learning objectives.

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Welcome Maccabiah Games 2017!!

BeST is proud to announce that it has been chosen to provide a series of War-Gaminghttp://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-big-city-big-ideas-business-conceptual-businessman-watching-image32765967 activities as part of the preparations for the 2017 MACCABIAH games – Because Practice Makes Perfect! see more at www.be-strategic.solutions

Be Prepared!!

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Happy Holidays from all of us here at Lotan Group

A little something from us to you for the holidays

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Preparing for Active Shooter scenarios, Cyber Attacks and Natural Disasters

It’s been a busy month at BeST headquarters, with 4 war-Games and Tabletop exercises taking place.

More than 110 participants in 4 events dealt with a variety of dilemmas ranging fromdownload (1)active shooter scenarios, Crisis management for a large corporation following a cyber-attack and national disaster management following a natural disaster.

Quite a few lessons were learned from these games as can be seen in the following bullets:

  1. Dealing with the formal media outlets and social media while managing a crisis
  2. Information sharing during the crisis
  3. Situational analysis and understanding the threats

Many comments were repeated during the de-briefings and hot wash; mainly that the use of

an analytical tool to graphically reflect the decision making process presented a fresh and new way to enhance the organizations operational preparedness for their next crisis, while the turnaround time for preparation and summary report was short providing an additional benefit in ROI.

For more details on using BeST for your next War-game or Tabletop exercise; please contact us at creator@be-strategic.solutions

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Test yourself – Are you really prepared to manage the next crisis?

In a time where terror attacks have become a frequent occurrence, we see that much is discussed on the ability of first responders to respond as quickly, effectively and efficiently as possible. The active shooter incident in Orlando earlier this month, the attack agaactiveshooter5inst a policeman and his family in Paris and finally the horrific attack in Ataturk Airport in Istanbul on the 28th of June are an example of these and a preview of what awaits us in the near future.

In this modern era we find ourselves in conflict between adding more layers of security and the fact that we have to also continue operations and keep the civil liberties which are the cornerstone of our existence.

While looking at many of my associates in the security consulting world, we see many recommendations on adding layers of security, from intelligence to physical hardening of infrastructure and adding layers of cognitive and behavior detection to existing deployments. To my surprise after 2 days of going through posts and newspaper articles I see little discussion on preparation for crisis management and disaster recovery.

Finishing a series of war-gaming and Table-Top exercises in the United States and Europe in the last three weeks on a range of different subjects, from active shooters and up to cyber-attacks against an airline we see that the ability to run through scenarios in a controlled environment enables the organization to fully examine its thought process on how to deal with rising issues. Procedures are evaluated and lessons learned, while enabling the participants to “feel” the event, so that when they encounter it in real life, it won’t be the first time they deal with the specific crisis.

One of the recurring elements we have seen in many of these War-Games and Table-Top exercises are the lack of clarity and information at the beginning of the event. This becomes critical in such events as every second counts and when the flow of information between entities is not smooth they cannot develop a real analysis of events which in real life will cost us human lives.

So, when planning your security deployment start with defining your threats, develop your http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-big-city-big-ideas-business-conceptual-businessman-watching-image32765967concept and security layers, processes and procedures. Acquire the correct technologies to deal with your threats, recruit and train the correct people and text them and the chosen technology. Don’t forget to test yourselves as managers who may one day be in charge of managing such a crisis and who will be responsible for recovery and continuity.

In short – test yourself!!

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