Terms We Need to Know in these Fast Changing Times

Are you aware of the many terms we need to know in today’s changing times? The “new normal,” as it is so often referred to, may not be the new normal six months from now. Things are changing very quickly because of COVID, and likely will continue to change swiftly until we get on top of this situation.Terms

One thing that can help us in the process – especially when it comes to corporate and executive security – is to make sure we are all on the same page when it comes to key terms and terminology. To help accomplish this, we are providing the following glossary with six terms we all should know.

Please note: These terms are not necessarily new. However, these terms are being used more frequently due to COVID, or their meaning has evolved since the pandemic began.

Let’s begin:


Backcasting is a term that refers to future planning but in reverse. For example, we set a goal for our companies and then we work backward, identifying the programs, policies, and procedures we will need to implement to realize that goal.

Let’s say a business has decided to end remote working and require their staff to return to the workplace. This is the goal. Now they must work backward, determining what steps the company must take to ensure the health and safety of their staff when they return to work. For instance, as they are working from home, they may have got used to more screentime, meaning that they would have had to protect their eyesight more, using anti glare glasses as a precaution. To translate this into working from the office again, you may assign them a few more 5-10 minutes breaks every few hours for a rest, or install blue light filters on the computers/laptops so they are less strained, the small to the big things must be looked at, as this is another huge shift to take once again.


A business is in a city experiencing considerable unrest. A plan has been made to ensure the safety of the company’s workplace located in that city. A project team then puts together possible scenarios and finds that the planned strategies to protect the facility will fail. This is an example of a premortem. The project team can then report back to company managers and say, “this strategy will fail because….”


The goal of the term horizon scanning is to reduce the impact of possible adverse future events. For instance, some of our clients have developed corporate security programs based on programs that worked in the past. This is often an example of “built-in failure.” We are living in a fast-changing environment. What has worked in the past may not work in the future. Horizon scanning looks to the future to see what changes must be made to ensure their corporate security programs meet future challenges.


When we perform tabletop exercises with clients, we have participants respond to a specific scenario, civil unrest for instance, and then analyze their actions. The goal is to help companies and their staff prepare for a similar real-life situation. It is like “war games,” but war games generally consider several situations simultaneously. A tabletop exercise focuses on just one challenge at a time.


Farmers in California are always concerned about droughts. When it comes to rainfall, the state is like a rollercoaster: some years, it has more than ample rainfall, followed by years of drought conditions. This can have a big impact on California agriculture.

Because of this, California farmers practice different forms of scenario planning. These help them determine what types of crops would be best to plant, how many crops to plant, the size of their investment, and how much money they can anticipate making using different scenarios. Now they wait to see what meteorologists predict for the coming growing season.

When it comes to corporate security, an example of scenario planning might look at changing demographics in the area in which a facility is located, and how that might impact the safety of the property. Scenario planning can also analyze changing traffic conditions to see if that could impact how fast police could respond to an emergency in the building, or how quickly people could evacuate the area in a crisis.

For more information on TAL Global and what we do, please visit our Case Study page.

As always, we value your feedback, which helps us shape our perspective on recent events, security, and the services we offer.

Stay safe,

Johnathan Tal
Chief Executive Officer
TAL Global
O: 1-408-993-1300

© TAL Global, 2019