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Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word

Here’s a link to a short column by Curtis Baillie about avoiding litigation in retail loss prevention.  Of course, most of our focus is on avoiding a bad stop at all costs through training, detailed policy and procedures, and the application of the “five steps” (sometimes six, depending on the retailer).  However, any of us who have been in this business for a long time, know that bad stops do occur.  Baillie suggests that admitting our mistake and apologizing might be the easiest way to avoid a lawsuit.

To most companies, this seems counterintuitive as they try desperately to avoid any acknowledgment of the mistake.  If they do make a statement that somewhat resembles an apology, it is usually in the form of “We regret that you had an experience in our store that did not meet your expectations..” or some other corporate gobbly-gook.  But, an apology is sometimes the easiest way to end the incident without litigation.  Check out Baillie’s column here.


Job Opening – Regional Director of LP – Bloomingdales

Bloomingdales is looking for a Regional Director of Loss Prevention based in the NYC metro area.  The Regional Loss Prevention Director is responsible for the management of all Loss Prevention programs and personnel for multiple locations. Also provide support for the company’s Shortage Control programs, Risk Management, and overall business plan of achieving sales and profit objectives and providing exceptional Customer Services.

For more info, see the job announcment here.


Police Arrest “Power Seller” for $100k in Theft

This is just the type of case that makes retail companies concerned about online auction sites.  Police in Portland, OR arrested a local woman and recovered approximately $100,000 in designer goods, mostly purses, from her home.  Initial news reports allege this same woman is a “power seller” on ebay with a strong record of sales.  Read the article here.


Is Loss Prevention a Profession or a Trade?

I’ve said before that I find some parallels between loss prevention and human resources in regards to how they struggle to get recognized for the value they provide to their organizations.  There is an interesting column in June’s  Talent Management Magazine that explores the question of whether HR is a profession or a trade.  You can read the article here.  In summary, the writer puts forth four criteria to qualify as a “profession”:


  • A body of specialized research
  • Intensive academic preparation culminating in advanced degrees
  • Expert skills and knowledge among the practitioners
  • Published standards of conduct such as professional ethics
  • Now, we certainly don’t have to accept his definition, but he says in in his column that he is purposely being provocative to the HR world.  Perhaps we should be provoked into thinking about these same issues.  For years, we have run around complaining that we don’t get respected for what we do and we should have a “seat at the table.”  But, perhaps we need to look within and compare ourselves with some of the others who do have the proverbially seat at the table.

    For example, take the CFO of your organization.  I’m going to guess they likely have at least a Master’s Degree and it would be hard to find many that don’t have their bachelors’ degree.  There is clearly a large body of knowledge in the areas of corporate finance and accounting that is agreed upon and accepted by all who hope to work in this industry.  There are accepted certifications such as the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) that are required to work in certain capacities.  While somewhat tarnished by recent scandals at major firms, there are published standards of conduct and ethics and practitioners are sanctioned and can have their certifications revoked if they have violated these standards.

    These aspects of finance have not always existed.  If you were to go back 75 years, economics and finance was a murky science, at best.  Similiarly, only a 100 years ago doctors were not too far removed from tribal witch doctors as they had very little science and research to guide them until the early 1900’s.  It is possible to evolve and gain greater recognition and respect as a “profession” but perhaps we should do a little bit more work at establishing the foundations that will earn that respect instead of just complaining of its absence.


    Using Predictive Analytics to Optimize Resources

    During the panel presentation at NRF, we had several questions about the impact of the current financial and retail situation on loss prevention budgets, staffing, and strategies.  Bill Titus, Vice-President of Loss Prevention for Sears Holding, gave some great examples of how they have used predictive analytics to optimize their resources and prioritize issues.  While this has always been a responsibility for senior leadership, the panelists all agreed the current expense pressures had made this more important than ever and has pushed them to delve even deeper into the data.

    Over the last few years, I have had the chance to talk and visit with many companies who place an emphasis on analytics and data.  No one seems to have completely figured out how to predict shrinkage from the metrics (short of cycle-counting which is a good topic for future posts), but they are working hard on it.  Of course, this requires data streams and there are still plenty of organizations that do not have the data necessary to do the analytics and prioritize resources.  If you don’t have the data, you cannot organize it into “information” and if you don’t have “information” you cannot develop it into “knowledge.”  How much emphasis does your loss prevention organization place on analytics?


    Turn LP into a Profit Center

    John Roach, Editor from Retail Solutions Online, was in Los Angeles for the National Retail Federation Loss Prevention Conference last week and has posted this article on his reaction to the sessions and discussions.  Read it here..


    New Players on the Loss Prevention Team

    During the panel presentation on “The Evolving Role of Loss Prevention,” one of the interesting points that came out of the discussion was that some loss prevention organizations are adding new players onto their team with specialist roles.  For instance, a few years ago Gap added a financial analyst to their team that came out of a pure financial background.  This position has been invaluable to them in analyzing programs, tests, and trials and helping analyze and build ROI scenarios.

    Randy Meadows from Kohls spoke of how important one of his staff is who comes from an IT background.  This person is able to interface with IT, help the loss prevention group understand how their needs can or cannot be met with a technology solution, and can help LP with implementation.  I know of another retailer who has an IT person who actually does programming for loss prevention projects which enables them to get a program implemented without having to wait in the queue for traditional IT resources.

    Another retailer there has had an attorney on staff in the loss prevention group for years who can be directly involved in the development of policy and procedures, negotiation of contracts, etc.  Many retailers have recruited people from operations to become District Loss Prevention Managers or other line roles in the LP function recognizing all the expertise they bring with them about the realities of running the retail operation.

    None of these retailers are running away from loss prevention expertise or the core responsibilities that need to be addressed.  Rather, they recognize the value of putting some specialists on the team who can broaden their capabilities and improve their effectiveness.


    The Evolving Role of Loss Prevention

    At the National Retail Federation Loss Prevention Show this week in Los Angeles, CA, I had the pleasure of running a panel discussion on “The Evolving Role of Loss Prevention.”  We had a great line-up of panelists that included Keith White, Senior Vice-President of Loss Prevention for Gap, Randy Meadows, Senior Vice-President of Loss Prevention for Kohls, and Bill Titus, Vice-President of Loss Prevention for Sears Holding Company.   In addition, we had a virtual pantheon of leaders from the loss prevention community participating in the audience.

    Over the course of the 90 minute session, we were able to engage in great dialogue, get insights from both panel and the audience, and generate some ideas for future discussion.  Since so many people commented on how valuable the session was, I will highlight some of the key points that were brought out in the discussion over the next several days.


    Is Your Blackberry Lowering Your IQ?

    A good article from over at the BusinessWeek site citing research that found that communication overload causes a professional’s IQ to drop 10 percentage points.  Our addiction to our emails, VM’s, text messages, tweets, Facebook and the like is dysfunctional on many levels, but perhaps none so insidious as growing inability to focus our undivided attention for more than a few minutes.

    The issue used to be that when we were at home, we were thinking about what needed to be done at work and when we were working, we were thinking that we needed to be spending more time at home with the family.  But, now we feel like we have to be everywhere, all the time!  When we are on the cell phone, we are checking email.  While reading email, our phone alerts us that we have a text message.  When we are on Facebook, we feel like we need to keep tabs on LinkedIn and when we are at lunch with a colleague that we haven’t talked to for a few months, we are constantly checking our Blackberry.

    Perhaps the future will belong to those who use all of these technologies but have the courage to do so on their own terms?  Read the article here.


    Communicating with Senior Executives: Do You Know Their “Hot Buttons”?

    In a previous post, we discussed the need to understand the “language” that your senior executives use so you can properly communicate the value that your function brings to the organization.  As an example, we explored whether you should be talking about retail numbers or cost numbers when making corporate presentations.

    I had a couple of readers weigh in with additional examples. One executive wrote, “In my company, we use units lost compared to units sold. My CEO always talks about shrink in terms of units lost being missed sales.” Another executive responded, “My CEO and CFO don’t talk in terms of percentage at all. They only talk in terms of cost dollars. Right or wrong, they don’t really care too much about high shrink percentage/low impact items. They figure the buyers will figure out whether those items continue to make sense from a margin perspective.” These are additional examples of the different languages and dialects that senior executives might speak.

    In this post, we will examine a closely related issue – hot buttons. What is it that really gets your senior management team fired up? What do they stay up at night worrying about? What gets their attention? What should you be incorporating into your program proposals?

    Let’s look at some possibilities…

    • Actual theft cases – There is no doubt about it, you can get the attention of some executives (loss prevention executives included) by showing them a dramatic example of what happens when people steal from your organization. Shoplifting or employee theft are both attention grabbers. It may not seem sophisticated to some of you, but it is real.
    • Financial ROI – The “holy grail” of building a business case, return on investment is the quickest way to get to the hearts (and checkbooks) of most CFOs and like-minded CEOs. Are decisions in your organization usually made in rational, analytical ways? If so, you will need to focus here.
    • Risk avoidance – Is your CEO most concerned about potential negatives? Does the CEO constantly ask about worst-case scenario or downsides of potential projects? For instance, if looking at a return policy change, is he or she most concerned about possible negative impacts on customers or sales? We make many proposals that can address potential risks and you may want to highlight those aspects. For instance, Payment Card Industry compliance, Sarbanes-Oxley issues, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act liabilities, , premises liability and many other potential risks can be avoided by prudent loss prevention programs.
    • Sales risks – Do you find repeated “roadblocks” to your programs due to concern over their negative impact on sales? If so, why are you not using those same concerns to support your proposals? For instance, what is the cost of lost sales due to lack of in-stock, on the shelf availability of hot products? Have you shown how your proposals might actually increase sales?

    What are some “hot buttons” to which your senior management team pays attention to? Do you have some examples of successes you have had in presenting your business case in a way that resonated with your audience? If so, please share them and we can generate further ideas and dialogue.


    Originally published in RILA Report – Asset Protection – October 2008


    Satisfied Employees May Not Be Most Productive

    “Are happy workers more productive? If you enhance workplace conditions to improve morale, do increased output and higher quality necessarily follow? The short answer is no.  There are no consistent research findings that correlate employee satisfaction to performance. Although organizations are more likely to retain happy workers than those who are unhappy, one can’t assume satisfied employees are the most productive.”  Read more here


    Protecting Our Kids, But at What Cost?

    We all want to protect our children, but what is the psychological and emotional costs for our worry?  A Columbine event is a tragedy, but isn’t the quest for absolute security fraught with its own dangers?  A bill was recently introduced in the New Jersey Senate that would require all public and nonpublic schools in the state to conduct monthly school security drills. If passed by the Senate, the bill would require students and faculty to practice emergency response procedures such as non-fire evacuation, lockdown and active shooter response drills. 

    Assemblyman Frederick Scalera, a primary sponsor of the bill, said that all schools in the state are currently required to have an emergency security plan in place, but many school staff do not feel comfortable with the procedures. “The problem brought up to me by teachers was that they knew they had a plan, but they don’t have a drill [to practice it], or they only have a drill one time a year,” he said.

    This bill would require all schools to conduct one school security drill a month along with one fire drill a month, he said. Currently, all schools are required to conduct two fire drills each month.


    Job Opening – Disney Stores

    Disney Store North America is looking for a Loss Prevention / QA Supervise for their distribution center in Memphis, TN.  The Disney Store retail chain, which debuted in 1987, is owned and operated by Disney in North America and Europe.


    Loss Prevention:
    • Recommend and implement operational processes to eliminate shrink opportunities.
    • Recommend enhancements to the physical security program as needed.
    • Manage the investigation of all potential loss scenarios.
    • Manage and enhance the Loss Prevention, C-TPAT, Safety and Workplace Violence Training Programs.

    Distribution Facilities:
    • Investigate and evaluate DC controls and processes to reduce shrinkage.
    • Develop and manage operational audit to monitor and sample various department processes and procedures.
    • Verify compliance of the calibration audits performed by 3PL – recommend changes as necessary.
    • Develop and implement the strategy for physical security, including cameras, guards, and alarms.
    • Develop and manage various safety compliance audits.
    • Support the Loss Prevention needs for the Memphis management and staff.

    Bachelor’s Degree Preferred.

    2+ years related experience
    Strong computer skills (Outlook, Excel, Word).
    Strong organizational skills
    Solid written, verbal and communication skills.
    Able to handle multiple tasks and assignments.
    Self-starter, motivated and proactive.
    Friendly, people oriented team player.

    Contact Name:Alicia Bayardo
    Email Address:


    Fact or Fiction? Maintaining Credibility

    I was recently browsing various websites when one particular news ticker caught my eye.  It reported that “The Top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 did not exist in 2004.”  Wow, that was a pretty shocking statistic!  Ironically, I was reading the March edition of HR Magazine the very next day when I ran across an article titled “Where the Jobs Are.”  The article included a sidebar “Top 10 ‘In-Demand’ Occupations.”

    Naturally, I was curious to see what these jobs are that did not exist in 2004.  Here was the list: 

    1. Registered Nurses
    2. General and operations managers
    3. Physicians and surgeons
    4. Elementary school teachers
    5. Accountants and auditors
    6. Computer software engineers
    7. Sales representatives and managers
    8. Computer systems analysts
    9. Management analysts
    10. Secondary school teachers

    Since this list was completely incompatible with what I had read the previous day, I decided to investigate.  Since HR Magazine is produced by the highly respected Society for Human Resource Management, my first suspicion lay with the web news ticker information I saw.

    A quick check via Google pointed me to the widely circulated “Did You Know?” video that has been viewed over 5 million times according to the “shifthappens” wikispace .  In this video, it says, “According to former Secretary of Education Richard Riley, the top 10 jobs that will be in demand in 2010 didn’t exist in 2004.” 

    Since a couple of other “facts” from this video had also been featured on the original news ticker, it seemed logical that this was the source for the info.  However, the conflict between this video and the SHRM list was not resolved.  So, I went in search for the original comments from former Secretary of Education Richard Riley.  It turns out that he did say this and was quoted in a book titled The Jobs Revolution: Changing How America Works.  But, here is the important fact that solves the mystery – the book was published in 2004.  If you go back and look at the quote, it now seems clear what has happened.

    In 2004, Riley was making a prediction that he likely intended to make a point about how the pace of change would continue in the upcoming years.  That is far different that reporting his prediction as a fact in 2009 when it has clearly not come true.

    Now, I don’t think the owner of the original news ticker that I read was trying to mislead anyone.  They simply picked up a widely circulated item and phrased it as a fact.  But, it certainly would make me question the credibility of other facts that I read on that ticker in the future.  Perhaps there is a lesson for all of us in this example.

    I will talk in future posts about the importance of credibility, focusing primarily on expertise credibility and relationship credibility.  But, this example reminds us of the importance of what I’ll call “factual credibility.”  I use this term to differentiate it from a situation where someone is purposefully lying or being dishonest.

    In our industry, we continue to see “statistics” cited in the popular press that are hard to substantiate.  For instance, whenever we have gone through an economic downturn, my phone starts ringing with reporters from various news outlets that want to do a story on how an economic downturn results in either: a) increased employee theft; b) increased shoplifting; c) increased burglaries and robberies; or d) all of the above.  They are usually disappointed that I will not endorse the concept carte blanche.

    When I explain the nuances involved in statistically supporting the theory they are advancing, they grow bored and I can tell they simply want to call someone else who might be likely to enthusiastically agree to the premise.  It may very well be that employee theft, for instance, goes up in times of economic difficulty, but given the fact that the seminal report in our industry has a lag time of many months in reporting estimates of employee theft, it seems hard to believe we could detect a statistically significant trend in a matter of weeks.

    Yes, the theory sounds reasonable, but there is also a theory that during times of relatively high unemployment, employees are less likely to steal and they realize the ability to replace their current job with one of approximate quality is diminished.

     Therefore, it is imperative on all of us to be careful in pronouncing theory, predictions, estimates, or guesses as fact.  An example might be the dollar figures that are often cited relative to the total impact of organized retail crime in the U.S.  There is no doubt that losses from ORC can be immense and that it is an issue that is worthy of our attention.  However, before we cite a specific number for our industry as “fact,” let’s make sure we can support it and maintain our credibility, lest we lose our bully pulpit on any issue.


    Originally published in RILA Report – Asset Protection, April 2009


    How Do You Measure the ROI on Loss Prevention?

    If you have not already seen it, Adrian Beck has published a report titled Preventing Retail Shrinkage: Measuring the ‘Value’ of CCTV, EAS, and Data Mining Tools that explores how organizations measure the ROI on their loss prevention investments.  Adrian is a leading academic researcher based at the University of Leicester and has contributed some valuable work to our industry.


    Does Theft Go Up in an Economic Downturn?

    There have been numerous articles, surveys, and reports about whether shoplifting and/or employee theft go up during an economic downturn.  I have hesitated to comment on this issue when called by reporters because I believe it is very hard to determine over a short period of time.  I’ve also heard others argue that employee theft goes down during an economic slump.

    One executive recently told me that he thinks theft goes down because you have fewer part-time hours being used and his company has more theft by part-timers than full-time, tenured employees.  There are also some theories that employees are less likely to steal during an economic downturn because it will likely be more difficult to find a new position and, therefore, the risk of losing their job is a greater deterrent than when there are more opportunities available at other companies.

    Vangent has released a report, Organizational Ethics and Counterproductivity Risks During an Economic Downturn: Causes and Mitigation, on this very issue.  They say that, “ increase in unethical and counterproductive employee behaviors during the current economic downturn seems inevitable.”  Does anyone else want to weigh-in on this question?


    UK e-tailers don’t understand PCI DSS

    Around 60% of UK online retailers do not know whether they are in compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), according to a survey from Sage Pay.  Around two thirds of the 1000 SMEs polled by the security vendor say payment fraud remains one of the most daunting elements of running an online business.

    In addition, only a small proportion of respondents could demonstrate a clear understanding of the financial risks and implications associated with conducting business online.   Only 39% of retailers questioned actually understand the definition of PCI DSS compliance, while 65% do not believe that they are personally responsible for covering the implications of payments fraud committed on their site.


    2008 UCR Statistics Show Decreases

    The preliminary Uniform Crime Report (UCR) statistics for 2008 show decreases in both property crime (-1.6%) and larceny (-.6%) but an increase in burglary (+1.3%).  Remember, UCR statistics are based only on crimes reported to law enforcement agencies.  The details can be found here.


    In Legal First, Data-Breach Suit Targets Auditor

    Thanks to Tim Shipman for calling this article to our attention.  This case is asking the question about how much responsibility an IT security auditing firm shoud have for a data-breach when they have signed off on a clean bill of health.

    “The case, which appears to be among the first of its kind against a security auditing firm, highlights flaws in the standards that were established by the financial industry to protect consumer bank data. It also exposes the ineffectiveness of an auditing system that was supposed to guarantee that card processors and other businesses complied with the standards.”  Read the article…


    Learning a Second Language: Communicating with Senior Executives

    If you’ve ever traveled to another country where English is not widely spoken, you have probably experienced the difficulty and frustration of being unable to effectively communicate basic needs, much less hold fluid conversations and exchange ideas. And, while one might be able to expect residents of the United States to speak English, it is certainly hard to be upset with those in other countries who do not speak our language since we are in their country.

    In a previous post, we discussed the problem of some senior retail executives not believing there is a cause-and-effect relationship between investing in the loss prevention function and the organization’s shortage results. If the senior leadership of an organization believes that shortage is subject to nearly uncontrollable, external winds and forces and that spending money on loss prevention investments does not necessarily result in lower numbers, there is a serious failing on our part in showing the cause-and-effect relationship and making an effective case for budget dollars.

    In this post, we will begin to look at some opportunities we may have to change that mindset and be more effective in communicating our value, our business case and the reasons that organizations will benefit from funding our business proposals and programs. First, we will look at the issue of how we communicate with senior executives.

    Just as different cultures and countries have different languages, companies have different languages too. Think of all the acronyms and abbreviations that you use in your workgroup that sound completely foreign when a new employee joins the team. Or, think of all of the special lingo that we use in our industry – LP, AP, DE, BOB, POS, LERPnet, RILA, CFI, CCTV, DVR, ORC, BOLO, and the list goes on and on and on.

    Senior executives are no different. The terms, language, and references they use can range from somewhat unfamiliar to completely foreign. If we expect to communicate effectively with them, we had better be prepared to spend some time studying them, their language, and the issues that resonate with them. Let me give an example that illustrates the point.

    Most of us in the loss prevention world have spent our entire careers talking about shrinkage and, when we do, I would venture that the vast majority of us talk about it in terms of the retail value of shrinkage as a percent of retail sales. This makes a lot of sense, especially when speaking with store employees and managers as it has good clarity since most of their focus is on retail price. Retail reporting is also used by the seminal study in our industry, the National Retail Security Survey, as the “benchmark” number for us to compare against.

    However, in working with a number of retail companies over the years, I have consistently found that CFO’s and CEO’s look at shrinkage (and a whole range of other metrics) in terms of cost. This is an extremely important point. If you go in to a meeting with senior executives who are used to speaking in terms of shrinkage at cost and you talk about retail shrinkage, you run a real risk. At best, they will view you as financially unsophisticated. At worst, they will perceive that you are trying to inflate or overstate the size of the problem to support your budget requests.

    For instance, one of the age-old illustrations many of us have used in our industry to illustrate the impact of shrinkage is the idea that “for every item that we lose, we have to sell 20 more items just to break even.” Have you heard that before? Have you used that before? It can be an effective way to discuss the impact of shrinkage when talking to hourly associates. Of course, it is predicated on a particular net margin that may or may not be applicable to your business. But, more importantly, it is unlikely to resonate with CFO’s as they will look only at the loss of the item at cost which, depending on your gross margin, may differ dramatically in terms of impact.

    I’m not arguing for a cost number or retail number per se. Rather, I’m arguing for the importance of understanding the way that you senior executives look at the figures. What works for them? How do they speak about the issue? What will have credibility for them? If we do not start with learning their “language,” we will have as much success in communicating with them as most of us would have in ordering dinner in a restaurant in rural Japan.

    In future posts, we will further explore how we need to assess the senior executives in our organizations to determine how we can best frame our business case in a manner that will get their attention, their support and their sign-off on budget dollars. As always, I welcome your views, thoughts and insights into this issue. 


    Originally published in RILA Report – Asset Protection – September 2008


    Job Opening – Home Depot

    Home Depot is looking for an Asset Protection Manager for their Winchester, VA “Rapid Deployment Center.”  Here are the details…

    The Home Depot is building 20+ Rapid Deployment Centers from coast to coast and is looking for top talent in the area of asset protection/ loss prevention and safety.  Our growth in this area is exploding and we are able to offer a lot of career growth to those on our team. Please contact me, D’Arcy Connelly, at with any questions, referrals, resumes etc.


    U.K. Court Decides for EBay

    EBay has won another battle in their skirmish with L’Oreal as the High Court of the United Kingdom says that eBay has “no legal duty” to protect other companies’ trade marks or stop its sellers from infringing them.  Cosmetics company L’Oréal has failed to show that eBay was jointly liable with the sellers of fakes and illegally imported goods and had “participated in a common design” to infringe its trade marks, the Court said.

    L’Oréal has embarked on over 100 lawsuits in Europe over eBay trade in its goods. The company is taking action against sales of its products or counterfeits of them which it believes damage its business and reputation.  In its High Court case L’Oréal submitted evidence which showed that of 287 test purchases that it made on eBay, only 84 products were legitimate and intended for sale within the European Economic Area (EEA).  It said that the agency it employed to conduct the purchasing had not deliberately targeted auctions likely to carry fakes or grey imports, but that still 14 of the products were counterfeits, 49 were never intended for sale and 139 were put on the market outside of the EEA and not intended for import.

    L’Oréal took a case against the sellers of the goods bought in the test purchases, and won its argument that those people had infringed its trade mark rights, either by selling fakes or by selling goods put on the market outside of the EEA and not intended for import.  It then sought to prove that eBay bore joint liability for these trade mark infringements because it did not do enough to prevent them.  EBay argued that it has a scheme that helps to police trade mark infringement. The scheme is called VeRO (Verified Rights Owner). L’Oréal does not participate in the scheme and said that it is unacceptable because it puts the onus of preventing infringement solely on the trade mark holder and does not punish rogue sellers enough. 

    The judge in the case, Mr Justice Arnold, said that the most appropriate legal precedents for deciding the question of joint liability were those involving the sale of tape recording machines in the 1980s.  Record companies had said that Amstrad was liable for the copyright infringement of people who used the tape recording machines to duplicate commercial recordings.

    “What were the consequences in law, first of Amstrad knowing that the majority of those who bought their machines would use them to copy unlawfully pre-recorded cassettes protected by copyright and, secondly, of their intention to supply that market?” said a ruling that the Court referred to, from a 1986 case. “I am satisfied that mere knowledge on the part of the supplier of equipment that it would probably be used to infringe someone’s copyright does not make the supply unlawful; nor does an intention to supply the market for such user.”


    Public Speaking & Loss Prevention?

    In response to Saturday’s post about public speaking, I had an email that basically asked, “What does this post have to do with Loss Prevention?”  They could not understand why I had posted an item that seems so off-topic to them.  As I explained to them via private reply, I think it is a critical skill for most in the business world, but especially so for our profession.

     The ability to speak in public has an almost unfair impact upon how others perceive you.  Think about this scenario, you are asked to make a presentation to the Executive Committee of your organization on your results and plans for the upcoming year.  If you do a good job, you are perceived as an “up and comer” who has a great future.  If you have a flop-sweat performance and come across incoherently, you risk jeapordizing your future, maybe even your current position – even if you are a great performer when it comes to actually doing the job!

    Is giving that much weight to a person’s ability to present in public fair?  Probably not.  But, it is reality.  For those of us in this profession, it is even more important given the stereotypes that exist for loss prevention and security practitioners.  When others think of the “typical” person in our profession, they are likely to think of the sullen, stand-offish, and oafish personality they have seen in movies or TV shows.

    When we have a chance to present to a group, we have the opportunity to reinforce the stereotype or change it.  That is why this is a critical skill for all of us in this profession.