Burrill Green Newsletter - December 2015.


Our next Corporate and Cyber Security Executive Masterclass, now earning CPD points, will be held in Copenhagen from 7th to 11th March. To register, or seek more information, please contact our Danish partners, the Praesidio Group:

Susanne Diemer - email: susanne@praesidiogroup.com

Welcome to the latest edition.


(click a subject to jump to item)

      Introduction »
      What does the future hold - a snapshot of disruptive technologies »
      How can you have a rewarding piece of it - better CVs »
      Security Leadership Recruitment - an objective testament »
      Burrill Green Consulting - testaments from three CSOs »
      Training and Career Development »
      Burrill Green Services Development - Anti-Illicit Trade »
      Burrill Green and the Arts »
Burrill Green.

Here we are in 2016, or 11111100000 in binary form. In the same way that our young children growing up in metric countries no longer know what inches are, as we get older we can also find we no longer have a current fluency in emerging concepts and languages. Nobody, especially business leaders, can afford to be the last person using DVDs in a streaming world.

So today we look at what markets call “disruptive technologies” over the next ten years. We then look at how we can help people get a rewarding role in these emerging businesses through better CV management and presentation, together with focused search and selection experts, and through continuing professional development.

Last but not least, while we spend a lot of time in helping people build often more easily measurable corporate security skills and on securing senior positions in organisations, we are also strong believers in nurturing less easily measurable artistic creativity, often an enjoyable counterbalance to the demands on today’s talented executives, and we will look at two examples towards the end of the newsletter.
Security consultants.
What does the future hold - a snapshot of disruptive technologies

Economically, socially and culturally disruptive technologies - like the microchip, the Internet, or steam power in the Industrial Revolution - transform the way we live and work. They enable further inventions, and provide an opening for innovators to overturn established orders, ways of thinking and behaviour. What follows are technology areas with the potential to have significant effects on how people live and work, and on businesses, communities and individuals around the world.

Twelve potentially further disruptive technologies

Internet on the move

There will be increasingly affordable and capable mobile computing devices and internet connectivity. In 1975 it cost $5 million dollars for a supercomputer with a capability that an iPhone 4 could deliver a couple of years ago for $200.

Smart software, replacing people - even more

We will see a huge rise in intelligent software systems that can perform knowledge work tasks involving unstructured commands and subtle judgments.

The Internet of Things

There will continue to be a rise in and spread of networks of low-cost sensors and stimulators for data collection, monitoring, decision-making, and process optimisation, like your phone "talking" to your household goods - washing machine, fridge, windows, lights, entertainment systems and so on.

The Cloud

Expect a proliferation in the use of computer hardware and software products and services delivered over networks or the internet, often as a service.


Witness the presence and affordability of capable robots with enhanced senses, dexterity, and intelligence used to automate tasks or augment people skills and roles.

Autonomous and near-autonomous vehicles

Become familiar with vehicles and devices that can navigate and operate with reduced or no human intervention, on land, on and under water, and in the skies and space.

Next-generation genomics

There will be fast, low-cost gene sequencing, advanced big data analytics, and synthetic biology. The cost and duration of the Human Genome Project, completed in 2003, was $2.7 billion dollars and took over 13 years. The cost and time to sequence a human genome within the next decade could be $200 and take one hour, according to players like IBM.

Energy storage

This is about the continuous search for devices or systems that can store energy for later use, including batteries, more effectively and affordably.

3D printing

This includes manufacturing techniques to create objects by printing layers of material based on digital models.

Advanced materials

Materials designed to have superior characteristics (e.g., strength, slipperiness, weight, conductivity) or functionality.

Advanced oil and gas exploration and recovery

The exploration and recovery techniques that will make the extraction of unconventional oil and gas economical.

Renewable energy

The generation of electricity from renewable sources with reduced harmful climate impact - like the sun, the wind and waves.

For a detailed analysis of these kinds of identified drivers of change, source material like the McKinsey Global Institute’s work in this area - Disruptive Technologies is valuable. They also point out key issues we fully endorse.

There are some major challenges. The technologies on the list have the potential to change the lives of millions of people. Cloud computing and the mobile internet, for example, could raise productivity and quality in education, health care, and public services. At the same time, some of these technologies could bring unwanted and potentially dangerous side effects.

The benefits of the mobile internet and cloud computing will be accompanied by rising risks from security and privacy breaches. Objects in the networks of the Internet of Things can be hacked, exposing factories, refineries, supply chains, power plants, and transportation networks to new risks.

Next-generation genomics has the potential for things like the formation of new DNA, but these developments could also be abused to negative effect. Low-cost desktop gene-sequencing machines will not only put the power of genomics in doctors’ offices, but also potentially in the hands of terrorists.

Nano-materials offer much potential and research will have to be deep and extensive to fully ascertain their potential positive and negative impacts on health.

It will be up to business leaders, policy makers, and societies to weigh these risks and construct pathways that can maximize the value of these technologies while avoiding their dangers. It will be up to senior experienced security executives and other team experts to become better knowledge workers, and to help others fully understand both the risks of actual and uncertain threats, and the best emerging ways of mitigating them, as the future turns into the present.

Adopting disruptive technologies entails new as well as old types of risk, and managing these risks too becomes truly vital. Inside enterprises, an organization’s effectiveness and cohesion could suffer as some jobs are transformed—or eliminated—by technology. By working with employees and redesigning jobs to focus on higher-value skills—and by investing in workforce development—companies may be able to minimize some of these kinds of risks.

External risks include reputational risk and consumer resistance, as well as safety and regulatory issues. For example, new materials may have unpredictable health effects and may pose new kinds of environmental risks. Autonomous vehicles might not deliver the potential impact we estimate unless the safety of driverless vehicles can be established, consumers accept the idea, and regulators come up with the necessary rules and standards to put these cars and trucks, planes and boats and drones and submersibles on their respective roads, bearings, flight paths and orbits.

Business leaders, and we as colleagues and advisors, need to strike a careful balance as we develop and adopt the new technologies. We have a duty of care to be even more deeply thoughtful and influential about risk and mitigating risk practices, but we must also manage these risks without stifling potential, or trying to. This is about intelligent and informed co-operation, not about unthinking containment and negativity. As usual this will require greater skills in leadership, influence and effectiveness.

If you want to own a slice of the future, you would be advised to read on!
How can you have a rewarding piece of it - better CVs

You may already be in a great place with a fast-track ticket to the future. You may be in a position where you are thinking about the future, or a change of direction, prompted by changing circumstances, opportunities or conditions. In the latter case, and especially if you are in or have recently been in a public sector role and are thinking about a new or fresh role in the private sector, you could always try our book and supporting DVD video "Crossing the Line":

Book - available from Amazon here

DVD - only available from us here: becky.burrill@burrillgreen.com

But whether you do that or not, one of your most important “Open Sesame’s” for your future will be the "calling card" that is your CV and covering letter. What follows is a succinct set of points that may well enhance your chances of being invited for further discussions about opportunities at a fundamental level. If your current CV ticks all these boxes, well done. If it doesn't, you might want to sit down and re-do what you have to bring out the best of you in this compressed form.

Here are some tried and tested ways to enhance your CV’s ability to represent you fairly in your physical absence.

For any given job opening, HR personnel and hiring managers are deluged with resumes. Since they don’t have the time or resources to interview everyone, they are always looking for ways to weed out candidates as quickly as possible. In fact, some merely glance at each resume before deciding whether to toss it in the “Yes” or “No” pile. So, it’s imperative that you make those few seconds count.

Here are some ways to make your resume stand out:

1. Incorporate industry keywords and buzzwords into your resume, but don’t overdo it. Use words and phrases like "accomplished," "developed," "managed," and "team player" in the natural language of the document. If your resume makes it through the filtering system, but it is evident to the reader that you were successful because of "keyword stuffing," the reader will feel you just gamed the system and will place your resume in the "No" pile.

But using the right buzzwords sparingly doesn't guarantee you anything. You could still end up in the resume black hole if you don’t have sufficient differentiation once those keywords are met. That’s why it’s important to follow the next steps as well. And by the way, make sure you understand the meanings of the buzzwords!

2. Tailor your resume to the job. Tune your resume to this specific role, with substantiating detail that shows why you are a great fit for the position. One way to do this is by summarising and emphasising your key attributes, skills and experience that are relevant to the job you’re applying for and your intended future career path. Your words must flow seamlessly - avoiding cliché and superfluous hyperbole. Sentences should each only be a few lines in length but they must spark the reader’s interest. If you can’t successfully "pitch" yourself in under ten lines then you risk losing the reader's attention. Be brief - you can highlight examples later.  Be persuasive.

3. Use a modern, professional format. Format your resume so that it is pleasing to the eye but doesn't focus more on visuals than content. Maximise readability. It is essential for your CV to be easy for the reader to scan quickly and effectively. You need to separate different sections and insert clear section headings. Avoid long paragraphs. Use bullet pointing to break up text into more manageable "bite-size" chunks. It should be eye-catching and uncluttered.

4. Make sure it is error-free and easy to read. HR people equate typos and errors with laziness. Make sure it’s perfectly polished and error-free - and don't forget to put the most important information on page one. In some countries recruiters will be adamant about a one-page only submission.

5. Use a header. Include a clear, hard-hitting statement at the very top of the resume that effectively defines who you are, keeping the specific position in mind. Only use an objective if you are in a country/market where these are common. Think of it like a billboard or poster. Be the unique brand you are, and if you don’t want to think in terms like that, be the unique person you are, and stand out for that. We advise using a profile (boxed) and we have an example below. This in very short order includes - skill sets, experience and personal characteristics. The latter is the most commonly absent content and yet, in the end, it is often that on which most decisions are made.

6. Keep things professional. Don't include negative information about previous jobs or employers. You may infer personal negativity.

7. Include metrics. There’s no better way to demonstrate how you'll add to the bottom line or cut costs than to show quantifiable achievements. Plus, employers often assume past performance is indicative of future results. A majority of resumes fail because all they provide are job descriptions. HR wants to see how you made a difference for previous employers.

8. Keep the reader's needs or industry requirements front and center. You need to know what they are looking for in your candidacy. Instead of developing your resume and then conducting a job search, it is wise to research the requirements of several opportunities to get a sense for how you should be presented in terms of personal branding, focus, and keywords.

9. Customise your resume to tell a story. Your resume should bring the reader through your professional experiences, accomplishments, skills, and knowledge. It should show how you've advanced over the years, and what you can bring to the table. This can make an instant and dramatic difference to the power of your CV, enabling you to distinguish yourself from other candidates. This is no time for false modesty. Utilise the space allocated to highlight where you have excelled - and how you plan to attain similar results on future endeavours. Make your resume is long enough to tell your story, but short enough to skim in a single sitting The key is readability and relevance to the job you’re targeting.

10. Where appropriate and acceptable to the recruiter, get your CV down to two pages, and if you already have a long, relevant and illustrious career, few are likely to penalize you if you "stray" onto a third page. (But do note, as we point out in point 4 above, that some countries' recruiters are adamant about one-page CV submissions). Use the appropriate amount of space for your experience. If you've been in the workforce for 15-plus years, do not feel forced to trim information about your achievements to keep to an arbitrary two-page resume rule. Use what you need to, but still do not make it unnecessarily long. Only include information that will actually help to sell you. Recruiters don't want to waste time reading details irrelevant to your ability to fulfil the job role.

11. Supplement your resume with a covering letter. About half of all HR personnel say they won't even read a resume if the candidate hasn't submitted a cover letter. So, unless the employer explicitly says they don't want a cover letter, write one.

12. Don’t lie or fabricate! Claiming you went to Harvard as your prime higher education establishment when you actually went on a short summer course is both over-claiming and fraudulent. There could well be serious consequences.

Of course, at Security Leadership Recruitment, which is Burrill Green's specialist service for senior corporate security and risk mitigation roles, we can provide considerable supporting help in this key area. But there are other dimensions to this as well, and you may wish to see how a third party succinctly sets this out and endorses us in the following section.

Secure Leadership Recruitment - an objective testament

Burrill Green are respected leaders in search and selection with a unique and highly regarded range of security services designed to recruit senior security and risk management professionals. This is a dedicated service within the Burrill Green Group and works under the name Security Leadership Recruitment.

Dr Heather Morgan has a long professional career both in senior HR roles in global companies, and in private consulting practice. We asked Heather to give us her views on this key question we put to her recently:

What makes Burrill Green unique in the search and selection field and positions them above their competitors in recruiting security executives?

"The answer to this question lies in Burrill Green’s extensive experience in the security field. Their search and selection services are led by experienced senior security professionals. They have been identifying, placing and nurturing security leaders for over 30 years. Having "been there and done it" is an absolutely critical requirement in the world of senior security search and selection. As outlined below, I speak from personal experience of the difference this can make.

When the need arose for the recruitment of a new senior security executive for David Burrill's team in the FTSE top 10 company in which we both worked, we discussed our potential search approach at length. David voiced his concerns that partnering with one of the company's preferred head-hunters for other types of senior management positions ran the risk of missing some of the best candidates because they could be rejected prior to arriving at the shortlist that would be presented to us. Not through any lack of professionalism on the part of the head-hunters who had successfully recruited for other functions, but due to the lack of first-hand experience of the actual management of corporate security. Not surprising given the specialist nature of the corporate security field.

We therefore decided to "test" our usual approach. Two excellent candidates known to David had put themselves forward for the role through the usual head-hunter channel, but when we reviewed the long-list presented by the head-hunter, neither had made it through to the top 25. In a very open, honest and insightful discussion with the head-hunter, it was evident that making assessments in an "unknown" field was extremely difficult as they could only work with the set criteria provided by the client, and not be aware of the various nuances and experiences that a security expert recruiting in this field would naturally identify. Both candidates were then placed into the long-list, alongside the existing candidates originally selected by the head-hunter. Following a rigorous internal selection process, one of the "two" candidates was selected for the vacant position - and then went on to enjoy an extremely successful twelve-year career with the company. Indeed, when put through the company's battery of assessment tests and exercises for managerial recruits for any function, he produced the best score on record that I had seen.

As a result of my experiences, I am convinced that the best way to recruit in to the commercial corporate security sector is to ensure that those conducting the search and selection process have had extensive and successful hands-on experience in that sector. Burrill Green is the only company that I know of which meets these criteria. With that approach in place, a corporate's in-house system can then take over for the final stages."

You heard it from Heather. Please do get in touch with:

David Burrill on: + 44 (0) 1233 850 460 or email: david.burrill@burrillgreen.com

if you want to know more, or want some truly experienced help and wisdom in securing your profitable and rewarding future. If you are in the position of recruiting the best for your corporate security needs, here are three ways that we can help you to improve your chances of getting the best people on budget and on time.

1. Ask Burrill Green to take on the whole recruiting assignment.  You won't run the risk of less able recruitment companies eliminating the highest quality candidates before you get to a short list. The whole process is conducted by specialists in security as well as in recruitment.

2. If you are trying to reduce costs and do much of the work yourself, we can get quality candidates into your recruiting pool.

3. If you do not have the time or resource to conduct the in depth and specialised interviewing on security (and intelligence) skills that we believe make a fundamental difference to getting the people who will deliver the best results within your organisation's operating style or culture, we can take on that element for you either for all the candidates you attract or for those you have placed on long or short lists.
Burrill Green Consulting

We are pleased to include in this latest newsletter commendations from the CSOs of three major multinational organisations we have worked with over the last decade.

1. "During last decade, Burrill Green has been our key partner to identify and develop our "entire competency" within the Security function. They have helped us to build and implement a vision of Security that, whilst fully protecting people and assets, provides far more integration in and value to the company. They have helped us to define our Strategic Vision, to develop our Master Plan and to create a highly successful and competitive security team worldwide. They have shown us the way to enhance our business leadership role in activities such as Crisis Management, Cybersecurity and Security Intelligence.  Burrill Green's philosophy, vision, experience, easy engagement with clients and their fundamental decency constitute a value proposition that no CSO should miss."

"If there is such a thing as a guru in Corporate Security and Crisis Management, David is it. In my more troubling times David would be the person I turned to for advice, and indeed I did."

2. "Over a period of three years, Burrill Green have delivered a world-class level of expertise to our review and updating of crisis management policies and procedures, and have provided  consistently excellent training sessions across the globe . I would recommend any company that takes crisis preparedness seriously to talk first to Burrill Green."

3. " . . . Looking back at the last three years of cooperation, I would like to share with you some thoughts regarding the work accomplished with the guidance and assistance of Burrill Green and its highly capable associates to enhance Crisis Management (in our organization).  Below is a recap of the work delivered:

· Risk-based assessment of current state of crisis preparedness at corporate level
· Gap analysis
· Review of existing policies and procedures
· Drafting of new policies and procedures
· Training in crisis preparedness and management aligned to new policies and procedures

Over the contracted period of three years, Burrill Green have delivered a world-class level of expertise to our review and updating of crisis management policies and procedures, and have provided consistently excellent training sessions across the globe. I would recommend any company that takes crisis preparedness seriously to talk first to Burrill Green.

Thank you again for the wonderful support - we could not have accomplished what we did without you."

The CSOs quoted are happy to provide confidential references that can be arranged through:

David Burrill on: + 44 (0) 1233 850 460 or email: david.burrill@burrillgreen.com

Training and Career Development

First off, we are pleased to announce that our flagship courses have now all been accredited, and we are members of the Continuing Professional Development Accreditation Service. This means the points successful delegates accrue through our programs can be utilised as contributions to other accredited programs and courses, supporting career development in consistent and comparable ways.

We thought it would also be useful early on in this section of this issue to re-emphasise that anybody who has completed one of our senior career development programmes or attended our Executive Masterclasses is automatically entitled to continued post-course mentoring. This is included in the initial offer we present for our courses, and is representative of our commitment as career-long development supporters with all our alumni. Our recent Corporate and Cyber Security Executive Masterclass drew the following endorsement:

“First of all, allow me to thank you for a great training week. It was quite a long time since I had such a course (usually I attend conferences with generic topics). For me it was something quite new as I haven't dealt with corporate security as such, only with Information Risk/Security. Thus, it was interesting for me to hear new things and aspects of practices in big companies like the ones you were working for. Definitely, using real life scenarios helps to get the attention and the messages through. I now have asked one of the course tutors to help me with some general guidelines around corporate security and some more specific information in how security metrics relate to sustainability.”

Here is a break-out group tackling one of the course’s challenging questions.

And the moment of relief when a successful candidate gets his certificate of completion from John Hedley, our Director of Training.

Burrill Green Services Development – Anti-Illicit Trade

We mentioned in our last newsletter that Ewan Duncan had joined us as an Associate and had been appointed as Director Anti-Illicit Trade, a position for which he is admirably equipped following his years in a leadership position in British American Tobacco. His arrival has brought to three the number of associates who are highly skilled and experienced in anti-illicit trade matters.

There is a growing need for companies and industry at large to address what is a now a well-established and still developing illegal business that now funds so many forms of Organised Crime internationally. In Geoff Gillion, Tony Judge and now Ewan, Burrill Green has retained many years of accrued expertise from these associates whose collective experience has been with some of the UK's largest multinational companies, and also with other multinational organisations. The principal disciplines they display, and which are necessary for any brand-holder considering how to deal with the counterfeiting of their brands, or the smuggling of goods, include: advocacy and engagement with Governments and NGOs; media operations and strategic communications; investigations and information collection.

Cooperation with Law Enforcement Agencies underpins all of them, particularly at a time when agencies such as the National Criminal Agency in the UK, and EUROPOL on a broader front, are prioritising efforts against Organised Crime Groups and what is the prime source of their ever-growing illegal funding streams. Tony, Geoff and Ewan have worked with Police, Customs and other agencies around the globe. Our associates know how they operate and the cooperation they seek from the private sector. They have all spoken on many public platforms and are recognised experts. Contact us if you want to benefit from this collective experience and wisdom.
Burrill Green and the Arts

Burrill Green and the Arts The best security is clearly not restricted to walls and barriers, fences and locks. It is not simply passive. Addressing new and emerging threats, as well as countering existing threats and actions, also requires things that are harder to measure than, say, the physical properties of protection.

To deliver outstanding results requires further input, creativity, imagination, the ability to envisage previously unseen threats and challenges, to create uncertain and unlikely scenarios so that people can develop ways of addressing them as they appear, not simply after they have created problems. To this end, we encourage connections with creative agencies and people. As in our work, so in our social lives, we encourage a blend of Science and Arts, couplings that produce outstanding things we can all admire.

So, in addition to our commitment to helping people develop their craft skills within senior corporate security and risk mitigation roles, we are also proud sponsors and supporters of the arts. We like to think this balance to the daily pressures of delivering excellence and results every day in your corporate role can be both relaxing and stimulating in different ways.

So in this last section we would like to bring to your attention some of the work of an artist we have supported and followed throughout Burrill Green’s existence. Welcome to the world of Derek Johnson, an immensely talented artist capable of working brilliantly across a wide range of formats and forms.

Although he is a contemporary of other luminaries like Howard Hodgkin and David Hockney, and has frequently exhibited at prestigious venues in the UK and the USA, much of his mature work has not been seen outside his studio. Take a look:

For a further look at the man and his range of works, go to



And also this month we would like to bring to your attention the fictional writing of one of our own Burrill Green Group members. He writes under the nom de plume of Merlin Cullinan, and to bring an element of the mystery that often appears in his work, you can discover more about what he’s done on


If you click through, you may find certain similarities to one of the producers of our newsletters.


All the best from David, Kevin and your whole Burrill Green Team.
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