Bright Stove

Reflecting information risk journey

Passing destination

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I managed to get up early this morning and went for a jog around the hotel area. My destination was a palace building nearby. According to my colleague, it was about 2 km away, and to-and-fro, I would have covered around 4 km. I didn’t check the map or look around from my window before I start. I got down to the ground and with just a simple warm-up, I began running. I ran along a well paved foot path skirting the hotel and on my right, there was a river flowing, flanked by rows of cherry blossom trees that were just starting to bloom. The air was cold but the sun had risen and on those pathway where the sun was shining, the feeling was great. I was enjoying the sight and scene around and my pace continued. I realized that as I followed the foot path, which was bending towards my right, along the flow of the river, I didn’t see any palace around. Thinking that the palace might be still a distance to go, I continued to jog forward, passing first the Yotsuya station, then the Ichigaya station, and finally reached Iidabashi station. It was around 22 minutes since I started (according to my iPod Nano clock). Where’s the palace? I wondered.

As I’ve not been running regularly recently, I decided to U-turn and get back before my breath runs out, and the total time would be around 40-45 minutes by then. On the way back, I started to look on my right side (which was my left earlier) and shortly passing the Yotsuya station junction, I suddenly realized that, eh, the palace was there, just on my right! It was one of the entrance, with light blue and white colored architecture. It wasn’t the main palace though, seems like another grand building (something like a White House, but in blue), as the main Tokyo palace is near the Tokyo station. A beautiful sight in any case. I got back and calculated the distance, and it worked out to be around 6-7 km in total, a few km more than what I’ve intended, and passing my destination without even noticing.

DSC06109 Stitch

As I reflect on this, after passing the palace, on my way back, it occurred to me that this sort of missing destination thing happens when we are either too focus on a particular task or attraction (or distraction). This perhaps relate to what we call “situation awareness”, which is something we need to keep on tap constantly, especially when we don’t exactly know how our destination would look like. In fact, I only have a view of the palace from my hotel window (see picture above) from one side, which does not tell how the gate on the other side would look like. In fact, I didn’t pay much attention to the palace view at the window until this morning, after the run. Besides the gate, there was just an entire stretch of high wall, which on the ground, there’s no sight of the palace within. It is all too easy to pass our destination (objective) and continue to run forward until we stop, or in this case, until I turned back and look around.

The notion of situation awareness relates also to knowing and understanding what’s happening around us, in the geography where we are in. From an information security management perspective, this relates to knowing the kind of incidents that are frequent, the social-economic behavior and development, the policies, regulations and standards that are in place, developing and/or changing, and the industry development and responses to these changing situations. Our internal information security program while addressing internal business concerns and needs, has to also maintain relevant in view of these external changes that are taking place. It might be easier said than done perhaps, but I guess having this reflective thought from a casual run to remind me of the importance of this is certainly an intangible value-add from the early morning run 🙂


Written by mengchow

March 28, 2009 at 1:13 am

Posted in Risk Management

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