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Engaging the ‘risk mitigators’

by Richard Ferguson

FoodBev.com – 15.03.2010

When an organization decides to invest significant sums of money in expanding ts services or entering new markets, there’s usually a damn good reason why – normally associated with an ROI tha makes the risks associated worth it …

However, how often do the executive team engage the real ‘risk mitigators’ – their staff – to judge whether the risks are really easily ameliorated or actually being overlooked or understated because of the size of the prize?

Engaging staff in the outcome of strategic decisions is often a trick many organizations miss; communicating the results of a merger, a new change initiative or a restructuring in a way that expects people to understand, believe and be committed all from one email.

However, it’s not often that you come across an organization that not only does this effectively but has taken it to the next stage and adopted level-three engagement.

This means that they’ve communicated on a decision, engaged staff in the implications and consequences and also taken the time to engage staff in the making of the decision before it’s taken. If we think about our own personal experiences for a moment, how hard do you work when you’re given an idea to bring to reality?

Compare this with the levels of discretionary effort one applies when it’s your idea, your credibility at stake and your reputation that can benefit from a successful outcome. For an organization to give itself the best possible chance of delivering sustainable organizational change, it should take every opportunity to shorten the odds of failure.

People that do the job have a very useful perspective on strategic decisions that mean they’re taken with eyes wide open for the implications.