I like to think that when I work with boards, executive teams and other teams that they are buying an experience, as much as my knowledge of the topic at hand. That is, they feel engaged.
Last week I emphasised the need to design great risk frameworks. The next bit of advice I give in Chapter 6 of my book Risky Business: How Successful Organisations Embrace Uncertainty, titled Designing Success, is to give your audience a fantastic first experience of the new or revised framework. That is, you need to design a fantastic first experience of the framework to knock down any misperceptions that the framework is too long, onerous or complex.
The following are a couple of examples of what not to do, and what to do, to give a good experience of a new framework:
- Don’t put the framework up on the internet with a policy signed by the CEO. Do sit down with each area of the business individually to work through the why, how and what of the framework.
- Don’t start with risk reporting. Do start with risk insights to teams, beginning with the executive.
To make sure I can give a team really good insights into the risks they are facing I follow a well-rehearsed formula of:
- Preparing – what I do before a workshop. I use analysis tools to gain insight.
- Facilitating – what I do in a workshop. I use a variety of techniques to create insight.
- Sensemaking – what I do after a workshop. I use a simple process to help the team check that the insights are valid, in the clear light of day, outside of the workshop.