In the world of business risk, the aim is to identify risks to business and people, and manage those risks in the most intelligent way possible.
Last year I was in engaged by a client to design a strategy to tackle one of their biggest people risks. It’s been 10 months since the project commenced, and whilst the project has not yet reached its final phase, we can look back in hindsight and see why the project has been successful.
The project has highlighted the perfect mix of three ingredients to achieve a less risky business.
Commitment – The business recognised that one risk was having significant impact on the health and safety of their people. Thus, they had a high rate of workers’ compensation claims with a negative cost impact to the business.
The business made the commitment to do something about the problem and invested time and resources to create a less risky business.
Genuine Leadership – The leadership teams’ relationship with workplace health and safety is genuine.
Dr. Tim Elmore, founder of Growing Leaders, suggests that great commitment begins with choosing the right goal. To know if a goal is right, you need to sink your teeth into it and really give it your all. This is exactly what my client did. First, they identified a risk that was a problem to their people and business. A commitment and investment to a solution was made to achieve their goal. They supported the process and at the end of each phase were involved in the outcome review discussions. Their genuine interest was evident.
Deep level of engagement – The project was designed so that the mid-management team held the responsibility to make decisions about the change effort that would essentially lead to a reduction of risk within the business they managed. Mid-management were in control and I, an advisor to the framework and process.
In the words of Peter Bregman, author of A Short Guide to Leading a Big Change, smart people want to know where they’re headed but they don’t want to be told how to get there. Bregman reasons that the more we engage people around the change we’re asking them to make, the more likely they are to own it and develop their capability. And the more consistently we support them along the way, the more likely they will take the many small acts of courage necessary to go from beginner to master.
Mid-management worked with their teams (the people who faced the risk daily) to implement and sustain the change. Each team hold the power to change their solutions where and when needed. My role is to facilitate this process with each team.
I commend my client for their business and leadership support and I highly commend them for handing over the risk strategy decisions to their management team, and wider workforce. Furthermore, for their support in ongoing decision making of their teams
Are you leading a change?
Do you have the perfect mix of the three ingredients for a less risky business?