Modifying your DNA

No, not yours, your organisation’s!

When I engage with senior leaders on their appetite for risk, I talk about embedding it in the DNA of the organisation. Why? Because it is critical for organisational agility.

Decision support tools, like risk assessments, help people make better decisions. However, the key to organisational agility is faster decision making. When a decision maker understands the risk associated with a decision, and they are clear on the organisation’s appetite for risk, they can make decisions faster. And sometimes a decision will be escalated if it sits outside the organisation’s current appetite.

In the past, my advice on how to embed your organisation’s appetite for risk into the DNA of the organisation, has focused on:

a) decision maps, and

b) reviewing and revising your organisation’s policies, procedures, processes and systems that guide decision making

These are still critical. However, as you know, not every decision is covered by any one of these.

In training senior leaders – which I wrote about last week – what I have discovered is an increasing willingness for them to take charge of the communication of appetite for risk to their teams. Including time-intensive activities like discussing past decisions or potential decision scenarios over a lunch and learn or during a leadership offsite.

There is no doubt that discussions like these help staff develop a better mental model of the decision trade-offs the team needs to make. Inevitably this will deliver better and faster decision making. That is, agility!

Stay safe!