An Innovative Problem Solving Approach to Risk Management Challenges

The concept of Risk Management is really simple on paper and can be defined as,

“The forecasting and evaluation of … risks together with the identification of procedures to avoid or minimize their impact.” Source: Oxford English Dictionary

Identifying Risks

To implement an effective Risk Management Plan, the risks faced by an organisation must firstly be identified. These risks are then developed and published with solutions in a Risk Management Plan.

Identifying risks can and should be done by a variety of personnel cross-departmentally. If only a small part of the team is conscious of identifying risks, this can in itself prove to be one of the biggest risks to an organisation.

Cross-Departmental Risk Analysis

While the initial smaller scale risk identification process is a useful start, having just one or two individuals in an organisation thinking about risk and its management limits the success for any Risk Management Plan. The reasoning behind this will usually be related to time or budget constraints, but, managers need to allocate the necessary resource to effectively carry out Risk Management planning, rather than simply taking the “tick-box” approach.

There are real benefits to broadening the process – a more diverse team from across the organisation is more likely to provide a complete picture of potential risk areas and is also likely to provide better ideas for mitigating those risks. Also, when it comes to making plans to deal with a crisis, involving the whole team in developing, testing and rehearsing the plan represents a huge opportunity.

Risk Management Planning

Once risks have been identified, along with their likelihood and their impact on a situation or the organisation, it must then be decided as to what the best way to manage each is. All of this gets recorded and published as a Risk Management Plan; a vital tool for any resilient business.

Unfortunately, all too often, and sometimes for reasons out of our control, a completed risk management plan gets filed away and ignored until the next audit comes around. This must change! 

Increasing Engagement in Risk Management

The challenge in achieving this is creating engagement across the team; the challenge is turning Risk Management from a dry topic into an interesting one. But how can organisations increase employee engagement within the area of Risk Management?

Here at Evocatus, we meet this challenge using exercise and game design techniques to promote team problem solving. This is achieved through running anything from a table top discussion exercise through to a live rehearsal. Using the same methods used for training military teams and headquarters, the process of developing the Risk Management Plan through problem solving games can be designed to have a team building effect, developing cohesion. It also ensures that Risk Management planning is seen as a key part of the organisation and something which everyone is responsible for. 

The end result of these exercises, developed solely with the unique requirements of your organisation in mind, is a Risk Management Plan. This plan is not just based on a broader, more diverse understanding of the business, but is developed through a thorough understanding of the more niche aspects, whilst also being invested in by the whole team. 

If you feel that your organisation is not currently giving Risk Management the attention that it needs, and if you feel you could benefit from external support and the process of using team problem solving games to develop an effective Risk Management Plan, get in touch with our experienced team.