Monday, August 11, 2008

Risk Therapy 101

Risk Therapy is a new concept, which adds to those of established Risk Management practices, rather than replacing any (also read Risk Management as internal / external change management).

Why consider it? Well Risk Management can be most charitably described as dry and costly, even though it was agreed as a sound business principle and encapsulated in the King II Commission Report published 26/3/2002. So it’s about as exciting as going to the dentist and, everyone has to go to make it work. Therein lies the initial stumbling block to effective implementation, nobody wants to go there, certainly not everyday!

Ironically, we practice Risk Management in our daily lives, although this is mostly informal and often unconscious. So what are the stumbling blocks to extend such formal practices to the work environment? I suspect this is due to a combination of the following factors:

  1. Ignorance (risk what?)
  2. Arrogance (it will never happen to us)
  3. Laziness (do we have to write / follow up on yet another report?)
  4. Naiveté (we have covered all the possibilities)
  5. Stress (we forgot in the rush)
  6. Heavy work loads (we haven’t got time)
  7. Abdication (that’s someone else’s job)
  8. Irresponsibility (we don’t really need to do that)
  9. Informality (we have a system buts it’s all in my head)
  10. Unrealistic (but we’ve done it this way for years; nothing ever changes!)
  11. Short-cuts (its too much effort)
  12. Penny-pinching (it costs too much / doesn’t add value)
  13. Reluctance (the boss wants me to do it)
  14. Flippancy (we’ll manage any problems as we go)
  15. Cowboys (if it goes wrong we’ll just start again somewhere else)

So what can be done to address one of the most highly-ranked fears of business leaders? The answer, an internal choice followed by a commitment.

The choice is to consult with external professionals. Anyone will do, but remember, experience and attitude counts for a lot. As with any therapy, it requires consultation with a person or organisation external to the person or organisation seeking it, whether or not you believe you need to. So this could lead to a simple reality-check of systems, standards, penetration, attitudes and delivery, or as radical as the creation of a complete Risk Management system.

For it to work, commitment to this voyage of discovery has to be made, irrespective of the consequences. In other words, choose to heal yourself and follow it through to its natural destination.

Are you and your teams ready for this? We can help you with this fresh approach. For more information go to our specialised Risk Therapy website or

This is the first in a series of articles. Further exploration of this new mindset will follow soon in Risk Therapy 102.

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