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Sun Tzu on Crisis Preparedness: Surfaces & Gaps

In the 5th century BC, Sun Tzu advised his students to avoid an enemy’s ‘surfaces’, or hardened points, and focus on the gaps in their defences.  It is these very gaps that our competition, the forces of nature – or just plain bad luck – will inevitably seek and find. Even when a gap may seem inconsequential by itself, if it happens to line up with other gaps – the so-called ‘Swiss Cheese Effect’ – disaster can ensue.

It is critical that organisational response and recovery is integrated and practised. Plans must offer a common basis for change and management teams must be able to think and act dynamically, guided by simple and practical workflows. 

True organisational resilience demands full spectrum preparedness from the control room to the boardroom – from first responders providing emergency response, through to emergency management and crisis management teams.

Turn your gaps into surfaces! To benchmark your organisation’s crisis and emergency management & business continuity management capabilities, contact us at

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