A First Class Connection
While the relationship started accidentally – two CEOs, sitting next to each other on a morning flight to the nation’s capital – the first assignment was both urgent and strategic: advising the conglomerate’s leadership team on a security issue holding up a $100 million contract.
At the center of the international real estate management company’s challenge was a high-stakes, time-sensitive dispute. The disagreement was complicated by multiple third-party agendas but potentially resolvable. Doing so, however, required recourse not just to best practices in facility-specific security but also to insights into how comparable security challenges are currently addressed at the highest levels of the U.S. government – such as at the White House, the headquarters of various federal agencies, and other nationally mission-critical physical locations.
Best Practices in Security – and a Reasonable Consensus-Based Solution
Hillard Heintze conducted a careful review of the dissenting party’s concerns; undertook a detailed inspection of the site under dispute; interviewed all immediate stakeholders to listen to and understand their perspectives; and developed a set of recommendations that both met a high standard of security and also carved out reasonable grounds for deal-enabling consensus.
Gently Correcting a Flawed Security Strategy
This was a very sensitive assignment – from several angles. Not just because the opposing party’s CSO was a seemingly well credentialed senior executive. But because his security-related arguments were deeply flawed. While pointing these out from a fact-based vantage point was a straightforward task, aligning our team’s domain expertise with the ‘softer’, nuanced imperatives inherent in negotiation and deal support required listening carefully to the client’s needs – as well as the arguments of the opposing party – and continually adapting in real-time.
Experience is crucial. But if you’re blinded by what you have found has typically worked in the past, you miss some pretty huge opportunities to innovate.
The Start of a Long Advisory Relationship
This engagement deepened a relationship with this client. In the ensuing months, the company’s management team asked for support in three distinct security and investigation-related arenas, one after the other.