A call for common sense

I'M SITTING HERE in London on a Thursday afternoon, listening to the sirens outside the window. Because it's Thursday, everyone tenses – ever so slightly – when one wails by. We've had bomb attacks on public transport on two previous Thursdays in July, so this is hardly surprising.

The British, of course, have been here before. Terrorist bombs have been going off in London since the 1970s. And so have we – the Risk Waters Group, which Incisive Media acquired two years ago, lost members of staff at the top of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

Responding to these events is tricky. On one hand, people want to get on with their lives – the Brits are particularly good at this. On the other, many want to invest large sums in both belts and braces to prevent a repetition – an approach that many US firms have taken.

As an American expat, I'd like to take a mid-Atlantic view on business continuity planning. Such acts of terrorism are meant to disrupt. As a result, it seems to me that financial services firms – whose existence affects so many people – have a moral obligation to minimise disruption. But individuals also have an obligation to conduct their lives without 'fear' being a primary, or even a secondary, motivator.

Clarity of purpose and common sense – they are powerful weapons.

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