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  • Writer's pictureDavid Atkin

Making Sure Risk Management is High on the Agenda

Every business will currently be thinking about risks, even if this is not normal practice or the result of an existing risk management plan. Business owners, leaders, managers and staff will be evaluating risks which affect themselves, their work and their organisation – it is hard not to in the current climate. But we shouldn’t only think about risks when we’re in crisis mode – or emerging from it – we should be looking to embed risk management as a routine business activity and one which is high on the agenda.

A properly functioning risk management plan will not only help mitigate the impact of situations which affect your business, but it will also allow organisations to take advantage of opportunities that arise from a changing landscape; we know things will change because change is a constant, so it is vital that all organisations, regardless of size, are set up to expect their strategy and objectives to be de-railed at some point and, importantly, have a plan in place to react when this happens.

Planning for every eventuality is not possible, 2020 has proved that. Even the most robust risk management plan factoring in pandemics, natural disasters and political unrest (as well as the plethora of other known unknowns) will have struggled to capture the degree of disruption caused by the events of last year. Yet some businesses are already emerging stronger, leaner and keen to exploit opportunities which have opened up to them or may do in the course of the year ahead. Some of those organisations may be able to cite a slice of good fortune, or ‘being in the right place at the right time’, but most will have moved quickly to implement their risk management strategies from well-rehearsed simulation exercises and empowered competent teams to help them address the various challenges that have been presented to them.

Recovery – current or future – will be driven by making sound decisions based on good quality information and data. Planning is always important to identify, evaluate and treat risks, but reacting appropriately to a constantly-changing situation relies on being able to make informed choices using quality, real-time information.

It’s likely that many businesses will have already learned a great deal about their resilience capabilities. Some may have been quietly surprised and pleased with how they were able to maintain operations, or adapt sufficiently well to be able to continue to do so at a capacity that was acceptable to their customers. Resilience will have been tested at all levels – on a personal level, a day-to-day function level and of the organisation as a whole. Now is also an opportune moment to assess who owns the risks in your business - is it the sole responsibility of the senior leadership team to react and address risks, or could this be a shared responsibility where everyone has a role to play?

So, how did it go... or how is it currently going? Is your organisation still in crisis mode, or already starting to learn from the experience to shape future strategies and objectives? Have you had time to assess what went well and what could have gone better? If that process was, or still is challenging or daunting, contact us to discuss how we can help you plan to weather the next storm (s).

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