‘How to run a risk workshop’, with a twist…

by Penny on 3rd May 2017

A message popped up from Anna saying: ‘I love your work Penny!’

Anna works as a lawyer in New Zealand. One day, Anna had to run a risk workshop, which is something she hadn’t done before. It was a bit of a challenge, with the CEO and other senior leaders involved. Actually, ‘a bit of a challenge’ is probably rather an understatement! I bet that Anna was terrified of it all going horribly wrong and the possibility of being seen to fail so visibly.

With this in mind, the day before the workshop, Anna typed ‘How to run a risk workshop’ into Google and up popped millions of hits. She worked her way through the ones at the very top. One of them was a site called GPM First, where she found ‘an incredibly helpful article that I’ve been working through this afternoon and using to help design the workshop’ (her words). After using it, she felt much more prepared as to the structure of the workshop and to handle the difficult relationships which she knew might interfere with the smooth running of her session.

The twist in the story is that Anna already knew me as our husbands are second cousins! It turns out that she’d used Chapter 5 of ‘A Short Guide to Facilitating Risk Management’ to design her risk workshop, but only realised that I had written it once she’d completed the design and was reviewing the chapter one last time. She spotted my name and sent me the message to let me know.

After the workshop, Anna sent me a triumphant message to let me know how things had gone, saying, ‘Penny, it went great! Lots of involvement and engagement, we identified a lot of risks, and we worked out how we want to progress the project. Feeling great! The post-it note system worked really well. The degree of autonomy it provides is helpful.’

There is something really magical about a family member on the other side of the world accessing my work and finding it useful, despite the fact that before this she had no idea that risk workshops was something I knew anything about!

The Message from Anna

You can find the Chapter on Risk Workshops which Anna found so helpful here: http://www.gpmfirst.com/books/short-guide-facilitating-risk-management/risk-workshops

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