The role of the facilitator in embedding risk as a way of life

by Ruth on 23rd May 2011

I wanted to share with you the experience of a major pharma company and the way they have embraced risk management as a ‘way of life’ is their organisation.  Sounds like a distant dream I bet to some of you reading this – but in fact they made it look quite easy.  The logic is compelling once leaders get it – it’s just that so many leaders don’t.

The organisation in question was determined that to gain benefits from risk management that it must be integrated into the business – so explicitly linked to decision-making and with (wait for it) – NO NEW MEETINGS – or anything else masquerading as a meeting such as a risk workshop.   Instead existing meetings were used to do the risk-associated business alongside the other agenda items.

They found then, that facilitators (who were risk experts, but didn’t have a risk title) were invaluable in coordinating the efforts of multiple line managers who were all leading risk-based interventions, and producing and using risk-based information in their part of the business.  Facilitators were used to coach and support line managers, and to ensure that learning spread across the organisation and was consolidated into processes and tools.

So – a challenging thought may be – how do you facilitate risk management: engaging others to identify, own and manage risk – without creating a whole new industry of meetings and workshops where risk is done.  How can you work to help your organisation embed risk as a way of life?

We are interested in your experiences and thoughts – please do share them with Penny and me.

Ruth

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