What is CBD Response and who is behind it?

History of the Guidelines for Business Leaders

Janellis Australia is an enterprise consulting firm working with leading companies and government agencies to help execute their strategy.

Janellis began working with the NSW State Emergency Management Committee in 2006 to assist the business community in being prepared for a significant emergency event in the CBD. The result was the Sydney CBD Guidelines for Business. In the same year, Janellis won a State and National award for the Guidelines.

Extensive collaboration, shared thinking and problem solving took place between the private sector and the agencies responsible for the emergency evacuation of the city. Components within the Guidelines were robustly tested.

CBD Response, the 2015 version of the Guidelines, captures ten years of experience, lessons learnt and innovation in emergency management. The site reflects the key findings from:

  • actual events that have occurred in the Sydney CBD
  • scenario based activities with Australia’s leading companies and government agencies

Why this is so critical now

Significant events that have occurred within the CBD have highlighted the difficulties in moving large groups of people, the need for timely communication and the reliance on key decisions to be made.

Organisations operating within the CBD cannot rely on emergency services agencies and building managers alone to ensure the safety of their staff and the continuity of their business.

In the event of an emergency in NSW a ‘significant and coordinated response’ will require businesses, government, critical infrastructure companies, service providers and the broader community to work together. In order to successfully work together business leaders need to be aware of how the police, the other emergency services and the local authority will respond.

New role for Business Leaders

In testing the key elements, Janellis worked with leaders across many industries and subject matter experts including then Retired General Peter Cosgrove. Peter said about the new role for business leaders:

“Australia has some of the best men and women leaders of any country in the world who can deal with business shocks standing on their feet and they have already demonstrated this. However this new set of challenges needs some work and our ability to respond will be the difference between that situation occurring and our reality.

Some companies are very advanced and responsible and there are a lot who are not. In running through the hypothetical today we can start to imagine the dimensions to the problem”.

Business leaders may be faced with incomplete or conflicting information in an emergency. The complexity of an effective response requires the most experienced and capable leaders to make decisions that could affect the safety of many people and the continuity of their business.

CBD Response reflects the new role for business leaders as well as the key changes to the SCBDEP.