Maybe you're one of those people who takes part in lots of risky activities. Mountain Climbing, Para Sailing and even saw one thing called "Extreme Ironing!" Then again though, maybe you're one of those people who thinks trying a new colour shirt is enough of a risk for you...
Which ever level of risk you're comfortable with though can have an impact on the way you run your business.
At least once a week I find myself asking to see a clients Risk Assessments. Without fail, they present me with their Health & Safety folder. "Working At Height" "Slips, Trips & Falls" "Working With Forklifts" are all the usual suspects, which is important but, what about Business Risks?
For example, what happens if you lose a key member of staff? Do you have a succession plan in place, can you fill their function with the current team, would you lose organisational knowledge?
What happens if you lose a big customer? Is it going to impact your ability to continue, are you going to have to bolster your sales efforts?
These are Business Risks. We all face a multitude of risks, including:
Commercial - Loss of Staff, Loss of Client, New Business Lines
Operational - Sales Failing, Production Planning, Delivery Failure
Infrastructure - Loss of the office, A major coms failure
So, what could you be doing to manage those perhaps less obvious risks. Well, simply enough, you take the same approach as for any other risk. You assess the impact.
There are a few easy steps here. Firstly, we have be sure we understand what the risk means. So, lets go back to our example "Loss of a Key Member of Staff"
What does it mean to us? Well, if we lose a key member of staff, we may los operational capacity or knowledge. This is could lead to revenue implications.
But there could be different impact levels. On a normal day, the loss of staff is low impact, with no real effect. In an abnormal situation though, you may face some issues. Indeed, in a emergency, you may have to halt certain functions in the business.
So what next? We need to rationalise this risk, to be able to make a decision on what we want to do. To do this we need to know:
The Worst Case Scenario - From No Impact, to Total Disaster
The Likelihood/Probability - It wont ever happen to, It already is
Your Current Controls - Fully effective or nothing at all in place?
We can assign a scoring system to these areas, to determine if we need to implement some further actions.
There is one more thing to consider though, how much risk do you want to take? (I mean, extreme ironing is probably not on my list but, to each their own)
At THC we are always innovating. Our Risk Management System has been hailed as an "example of excellence" by both our clients and The BSI. We are currently developing a suite of On-Line Risk Management tools to open our services to wider client base. This could include your business.
To find out more and make a start on getting your risks under control, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org