Business Under Fire: How Israeli Companies Are Succeeding in the Face of Terror--and What We Can Learn From Them.

By Ross Johnson, CPP

Business Under Fire: How Israeli Companies Are Succeeding in the Face of Terror--and What We Can Learn From Them. By Dan Carrison; published by AMACOM, 800/714-6395 (phone), (Web); 227 pages; $24.95.

Earlier this year, Israel and the Palestinian Authority announced a cease-fire in the four-year-long intifada. Whether the peace holds or not, Israeli companies have adapted their business to the current threat. In this interesting and well-written book, these companies share their secrets.

Information from interviews is presented as Q&A, then discussed. The author interviews an Israeli CEO, for example, then discusses the main points. A summary follows. The book proceeds like this through three sectors: hotel/tourism, high technology, and transportation.

Only one major flaw taints the book: the lack of discussion on second- and third-order effects of terrorist attacks. An attack on a business in one sector, especially manufacturing, transportation, or communications, can have downstream consequences for companies that rely on the enterprise that was attacked. Strategies to minimize supply-chain or transportation disruptions caused by terrorism would have been an interesting and useful addition to the book.

Two audiences will get the most from this book. The first is CEOs of companies concerned with adapting to an economy threatened by terrorism. Author Dan Carrison clearly had this audience in mind. The second audience, the one that the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles and the Israeli Ministry of Industry and Trade appear to have had in mind when they agreed to support the project, is American investors and tourists. The book serves both audiences well, offering both valuable insight into managing a business with a suddenly shrinking customer base and reassurance to anyone considering a visit to or an investment in Israel. Yet because the book is not about protecting companies from threats, but rather how to adapt to threats, it is unlikely to find a market in corporate security.


Reviewer: Ross Johnson, CPP, is a retired Canadian Forces intelligence officer currently working as a safety and security supervisor for a Houston-based offshore oil and gas drilling company. He is a member of ASIS International.



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