Chapter 5 of my book Risky Business: How Successful Organisations Embrace Uncertainty is titled The End Game. (NEWS FLASH – the Kindle version of Risky Business is now on sale for just $2.99 from now until Thursday only.) Whenever I run workshops with senior leaders, I always make sure they understand what they should be looking to achieve from their investment in risk management. Otherwise, they might think it is just “good governance” and go about ticking the box while getting on with the important business of running the organisation. However, the end game might not be what you first think.
I have frequently talked about resilience as being one of the benefits of a great strategy and sound risk management. For example, here is a paper I wrote about selling resilience. These days when I mention resilience to executives I start with this question:
“What makes a small business resilient?”
The answer is “agility”. The ability to move faster than the giant sloths with stellar balance sheets. These days in the world of start-ups, I have no problem giving my audience a relevant example. Then I set them straight on what they should be seeking from their risk program.
The target must be agility. And the means is through faster, better decision making within the organisation’s appetite for risk. That is the end game for risk. Where decision makers in organisations take into account the uncertainty surrounding themselves and their objectives, resulting in less stuff ups and the resultant rework. And if decision making remains within the organisation’s appetite for risk, the stuff ups are not too damaging.
Yes, we all make mistakes. However, risk done well means minimal effort resulting in better decisions. Keeping in mind, risk done well is not overly complex and has minimal red tape. Unfortunately, not too many risk programs are designed with simplicity or minimal in mind.