Poor risk communication leads to foreseeable outcomes

It was Monty Python who introduced me as a child to the black humour of the “bleeding obvious”.

It is the government of South Australia which is playing out a Covid example.

One of those principles is the “three point sermon” – Certainly not more than 9!
There are well known principles around communicating risk

So thirty scenarios is confusion – not clarity.

Worse – it generates civil disobedience.

The kicker is that everywhere else this had been tried – people just pretend to register. Sorry, my phone must have malfunctioned.

The biro and pencil – urban myth 101 but also a useful story

Travel lite – always ask – what is the minimum necessary to achieve the result

One of my favourite scenes from the movie ‘Saving Private Ryan’ illustrates the importance of the “minimum necessary” principle. It also reminds me of the story about America spending big on biro development while Russia achieved the same outcomes using a pencil 😂. Myth. But a good joke – which unfortunately became internet mischief.

… and yes, mine arrived yesterday 😂

I use it as a prop to tell stories.

AgileBCP – favorite feature number 2 – using ‘risk’ as a lens into future uncertainties

In the real world, there are no silver bullets (magic, single-dose solutions)
AgileBCP is a great tool – but it is not a ‘silver bullet’

We recognize that risk is a concept.

It is a useful concept as it helps us get a better handle on future uncertainties.

The AgileBCP risk lens can (and should) be applied BEFORE a disruption event – and AFTER a disruption event.

Before event risk is a function of resource criticality and vulnerability (to impact)
After event risk is a function of resource criticality (which should be validated) and impact (on operability).

Nature’s warning color – red – is used to stimulate discussion. A ‘red flag’ calls for serious and immediate considerations. Orange – important but probably not immediate, Yellow – cautionary and needing to be watched closely, Green – sound but still keep an eye on it.

Color coding drives the conversation.

Risk puts on notice the need for conversations about what ought to be done – and what does not need to be done. Indeed the only reason for risk assessment is in order to inform action – or inaction. Risk assessment has no inherent merit. It ought not to be academic. Risk exists, as a concept, in order to inform decisions.

Once a decision is made, any implementation plan(s) should be kept as long as necessary but as short as possible. Specifying what needs to be done and what is needed to do it. Implementation plans are then supported by standard management practices of monitoring the achievement of the required outcomes by ensuring the plans are on track, on budget, and on time.

AgileBCP – favourite feature number 1 – risk criteria

As we enter our finalising stages of our User Acceptance Testing (UAT) for the AgileBCP software platform, it’s time to let the cat out of the bag on some key features.

First, for the things you care about, our Business Continuity algorithm focuses on criticality (to operability) and vulnerability (to impact).

Central to our thinking is the appreciation that criteria based considerations provide a robust stimulation to good decision making.

An added feature is the capability to tailor the criteria to align with your values.

Improving governance – a note to CEOs

Today I made my “YourOughtWe decision-making app” available.

I think it is a useful tool to support better decisions.

It addresses several of the key needs being voiced across our community.

People in South Australia are not alone in calling for better decision-making
(Ref Advertiser, Oct 2021)
National agendas are focused on the need for better decision making
State agendas recognize the value of better decision making

If you want your “governance people” to look at my offer please share this note and direct them to YourOghtWe description and YourOughtWe example

Hindsight and Foresight

I’m sure there are quite a few old sayings about “hindsight always being useful to learn from – but foresight being better to not have to“. Sage.

I was reminded of the value of foresight in a recent conversation on LinkedIn. Reflecting on the essence of the conversation – supporting good decisions with foresight – I noted several key principles – a list I share below as “Five for Foresight”.

  1. Be clear about your objectives
  2. Fully appreciate your context
  3. Be specific about your assumptions (and uncertainties)
  4. Be rigorous about your decision criteria (and their weightings)
  5. Plan to include the active monitoring of variations
I’d like to think my new OghtWe decision app frees you up for foresight
Watch here if unable to watch on YouTube.
Limited Time Offer – OughtWe decision app for just US$3.25