Beauty vs Bespoke

I have written multiple times about risk frameworks, such as Great Frameworks: Another Bigger is not Better while always talking about embedding risk into business-as-usual or BAU.

One thing I have not focused on that was highlighted for me this past week is the presentation of the framework. I’m originally an engineer. I guess that means focusing on ensuring things work rather than how they look. Last week I was sent a draft framework by a client for some advice on improving it. When I opened it, I was struck by the engaging way it was presented. It looked like a product brochure. One that I might like to buy. And it used diagrams nicely to portray meaning with minimal words. Overall, a thing of beauty at first glance.

When I got into the content, it suffered from some of the usual problems I see. It focused on downside risk and it was 95% a repackaging of the risk management standard ISO 31000. Apart from a few words, this could have been applicable to any organisation.

When I help clients with frameworks, I work hard to make them unique to their business, to highlight how risk is and/or should be embedded in existing processes and systems – as I wrote about in Synthesise your framework. I am however also now going to focus more on presentation. This does not mean creating something entirely disconnected from the organisation’s existing policies and frameworks, but rather incorporating the benefits of a well-designed product brochure.