I often tell our clients that, in the strategic security arena, experience is probably the single most important driver of performance excellence. And, in the majority of cases, that is true. But understanding its limits is also vital – particularly when a dose of creative business thinking is required.

One assignment we were tasked with by a long-standing client in the commercial real estate industry turned out to be an unusually sensitive one. We were engaged to provide strategic advice to the corporation’s leadership team on a security issue holding up a $100 million leasing contract. The opposing party’s primary security expert was a seemingly well credentialed senior executive. But his security-related arguments were deeply flawed. It wasn’t hard to explain the gaps in security planning and outline the best countermeasure. But aligning our team’s domain expertise with the “softer”, nuanced imperatives inherent in negotiation and deal support required our team to listen to the client’s needs and adapt continually – in real-time. Experience is crucial. But if you are blinded by what has typically worked in the past, you miss some pretty huge opportunities to innovate.

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