New Horizons in Management series
Chapter 9: Problem prevention and proactivity
A major component of the proactive personality is to take action to influence the environment. One of many ways to influence the environment is to prevent problems from taking place. Problem prevention contributes to productivity because many problems, such as having a serious accident, reduce productivity. In recent years, Somali pirates have been stepping up their attacks against cargo ships, including hostage taking. To deal with modern pirates, ship owners, often encouraged by their insurers, have resorted to a variety of old and new tactics, including razor wire, fire hoses, safe rooms, long-range acoustic devices, and laser dazzlers. All of these methods have some utility in reacting to pirate attacks. Yet, Lars Gustafson, senior vice-president of marine practice at Marsh insurance brokerage, found that proactivity about piracy pays bigger dividends. He explains that, “Not one ship has been taken that has an armed security team on board.” For a tanker moving across a high-risk sea, an armed, four-person security team costs about $30,000. Although this is expensive, insurers are willing to discount premiums by as much as $20,000 for employing a security team. A tally showed that the armaments both counter-attacked and prevented piracy.
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