Virtual Risk Facilitation Programme

For all those who facilitate risk management in their organisations

Please note that this programme is currently CLOSED while we update the programme and upgrade the technology platform used to provide it. In the future, the programme will be facilitated by Dr Penny Pullan.

Is it difficult to engage people to identify, own and manage risk?
Would you like to design and run really effective risk workshops?

If these are true for you, you’re in the right place to get expert help and support.

Risk Management can be tough…

It’s tricky making risk management work in organisations today.

While many businesses have spent small fortunes setting up risk management processes and tools, these on their own fail to deliver the expected value. Other organisations have no risk process in place.

Whoever has to make the risk management process work, or even just part of it, has a difficult job. There are so many challenges people face day in day out. Let’s start with a few of the problems with the risk process itself:

  • “People think that risk is done if we have a risk register, even if it’s way out of date or only half completed.”
  • “No-one takes ownership of risk.”
  • “We find it hard to prioritise.”
  • “People think that coming up with the risk actions has taken the problem away, but it hasn’t.”

Many of the problems concern risk workshops; here are just a few:

  • “We ‘do risk’ at the start and then forget about it.”
  • “We get overwhelmed by detail in risk workshops.”
  • “People get bored and run out of steam.”
  • “Risk workshops are dry and tedious.”

On top of all of these, the cultural aspects of risk management in organisations often makes it a fight to make the process work effectively. No, it’s not an easy job! In our book we gathered over sixty pitfalls that people had to battle with in their work. (Of course we provided lots of tips to overcome the pitfalls too.)

But Risk Management Can Be Really Effective and Work Well:

Risk management can be far more than a box-ticking exercise to ensure compliance. It can be engaging and interesting so that people want to get involved and take action. It can provide value to businesses working in uncertain times.

Perhaps your management team will say things like this after a risk session:

  • ‘That was really enjoyable’, ‘That was fun’
  • ‘The session was really worthwhile’
  • ‘I’m really impressed with the quality of workshop’
  • ‘I can’t believe how many opportunities there are’

This happened to one of our clients, who added: “The skills developed and knowledge shared has really helped spark enthusiasm, energy and real interest in the risk process – amazing! Thank you Ruth & Penny.”

After a great risk facilitation

So we’ve developed a programme that is designed to give you everything you need to have success too. It includes information, support and approaches you need to be able to run your part of the risk management process far more effectively.

Who will be leading the programme?

We have spent many years developing our skills in both facilitation and risk management, here’s how:

Penny Pullan

Penny’s story: Years ago, Penny had to facilitate her very first risk workshop. In the room was Geoff, a senior manager with strong views. Whenever anyone came up with a possible risk, Geoff would either welcome it or, more likely, say what a stupid idea that was. You can imagine how the flow of ideas dried up very quickly! In the end, the resulting risk register consisted ideas that Geoff
approved of. What a waste of group time! Penny can remember how incredibly frustrating this was and set out to make sure this never happened again to her.

After this awful experience, Penny trained as a facilitator and spent the next decade learning more about how to make groups work, travelling around the world doing so and spending thousands on books on all aspects of facilitation. Once she was really experienced, she set up her own facilitation consultancy but still the memory of her first risk workshop remained.

Ruth’s story: Meanwhile, Ruth had been managing, and advising others how to manage organisational change for many years. She knew that risk-taking was an inherent human skill, yet was baffled that approaches to risk management in many organisations seemed to exclude people. As a result risk ‘workshops’ were formulaic, often boring and worse – ineffective in helping the organisation
know what to do next. Ruth’s search for a solution took the path of researching and writing on the human aspects of risk management, and trying to demonstrate how it could be done with clients.

A few years ago, Ruth met Penny and attended her Facilitation Skills workshop. Together they realised that combining Penny’s deep facilitation skills with Ruth’s deep risk management knowledge and experience would be a powerful combination. They co-authored the Gower book: ‘A Short Guide to Facilitating Risk Management’, worked together with clients and delivered a Facilitating Risk workshop, parts of which were videoed. They’ve brought this together to provide a practical programme to give people new ideas to make risk management work, as well as supporting them over time to put their skills into practice.

Full Description of the Programme:

This programme will cover the full risk management process from start to finish. It will show how you can make a difference at each stage, so you can confidently facilitate the whole process.

There are seven modules in the programme, which include:

What does great risk facilitation look like? This module will set the scene, introduce Penny and Ruth and make sure you can make the most out of your participation. It will also inspire you to aim high, running through the skills of great facilitators and setting out how you too can inspire your own groups to aim high too. We’ll cover how to set up your risk facilitation for success. You’ll find out how to to make the biggest difference to your groups.

How much risk can you tolerate? This module starts at the very beginning of the risk management process: understanding just how much risk the organisation or project can cope with. Too often this step is missed out and you’ll learn why this can cause so many problems later on. We’ll look at working with diverse people and how to draw them to consensus, gaining support for your work across the board.

What’s risky and why? Here we look at how we can identify risks, exploring the complexities that often confuse people in risk workshops. You’ll learn how to describe risks in a very clear way that makes the rest of the process flow much more easily. We’ll
explore how to deal with large amounts of data without swamping people and different ways you can ensure that your risk workshops are highly engaging. Unfortunately the norm for risk workshops is dry and tedious, as we see in many businesses today.

How much does each risk matter? In this module, we take the next step along the process, looking at the most effective ways to gather probability and impact. We’ll uncover the huge trap that 99% of people fall into, sabotaging their risk management
work. Here, we’ll also consider the potential biases created by human influences and look at how to deal with conflict that arises, and even use it to transform your group’s effectiveness.

How risky is this situation? This step in the risk management process normally doesn’t happen. People don’t consider the whole situation. They just plough onwards and may miss out on things that could severely affect their whole organisation. In this module, we’ll ensure that you understand how to look at the riskiness of a situation as a whole and to
take steps to ensure that this is managed well.

Responding wisely – what action shall we take? We find that people often flag by the time it comes to taking action. This is where engaging people, and yourself, in the task can make a huge difference. In this module, we’ll explore how to make sure that you are in the best possible state to engage others as well asthe best ways to come up with actions that will stick.

Keeping it alive is something that most organisations struggle with. When those responsible for risk are spread around the world, this can become even more difficult. In this module, we’ll cover how you can keep people engaged and interested in your risk
management process, even after the risk register is established and you have actions in place. This will allow you to keep your organisation ready and prepared, whatever changes lie ahead, even if you need to work virtually.

Who is this Programme for:

This group programme is for all of those who need to lead or facilitate any part of a risk management process in their organisation, whether face-to-face or virtually, or both.

Some of the people in the group will be risk professionals looking at risk across their organisations. Others will be project or programme managers, line managers, risk consultants, trainers or any number of different job titles. All that matters is that your role (or part of it) is to get risk management to work with other people involved. That could mean running meetings or workshops and/or coordinating other people or giving advice.

To make the programme work well for all, we are looking for participants who are

  • keen to learn and willing to put what they learn into action;
  • open to feedback;
  • willing to contribute to the success of others;
  • able to share their own experiences (adapted if required for confidentiality);
  • willing to maintain confidentiality about what is shared in the group.

If you want to be able to engage people to identify, own and manage risk in your organisation, then this programme is designed for you.

Benefits of Participating in this Programme

We’ve designed this programme to provide a whole range benefits for the participants:

Timed to fit with your own stage in the risk management process…
This programme has been designed so that you can work on modules when it suits you, and align it with your own risk management work.

Being part of a group
As you process through the programme, you’ll be able to ask questions in the discussion forum and explore your challenges with other people interested in developing their skills in facilitating risk management.

Tap into the knowledge and experience of the group as well as the leaders
There will be a wealth of knowledge and experience in the group. You’ll be able to get feedback and advice from others who have ‘been there’ or are in a similar situation in their own organisations, working with the risk management process and facing some of the same challenges as you are.

Share and contribute
By taking part in this group, you’ll be able to share your own experiences of what works in your organisation and make a difference to others in the group.

What do people say about our Virtual Risk Facilitation Programme?

Fabio Panzavolta, Consultant and Project Manager, FPA Consulting, France

What went well: the quality of the course, content and virtual facilitation. The sequence is well designed and logical.

Why join the program: if you need to manage risks (for your projects or Company) and you don’t know how to start, or simply want to innovate your approach, then you should follow this course. Brilliantly led by two recognised professionals, you’ll quickly get into practical and common problems, get solutions and learn how to master risks keeping people effective and involved in the process. The quality of the learning material and support is excellent and will complete your experience!

Simon, Risk Manager, UK

I have enjoyed every minute.

1. Sharing experiences with fellow risk practitioners is priceless. Looking at the soft skills aspects was something I had not considered in the past.

2. To encourage new participants I would say you need to take part fully and actively in the sessions and working through the material. Also try and match the stages of the course with what you are actually doing at work.

Susan Grobler, Consultant, South Africa

What worked for me:
The flexibility to do the online material when I had time, even if it was at the middle of the night or over weekends
Having the book that described a little more detail and put everything in perspective.
Back to basics – some of the stuff we know, but we either forget it or we don’t realise the importance of that, and you guided the process to let me realise how important the basics are.

Message to potential participants:
You will get out as much from the course as you put in. It is a valuable course that enable you to apply everything you learn right away in different areas of your work life, not only in Risk Management. It is well thought through, easy to digest and guide you to get back to the basics.

The Format of the Programme

The programme consists of a series of online modules and a discussion forum. Ruth and Penny will take part in this to support you as you implement, and to answer any questions you may have.

Online, with support
The online part of this programme is delivered through a web-based virtual learning environment that can be accessed through any computer or tablet with a good internet connection. The programme uses different media – reading material, video and audio. All of these are designed to help you to share ideas and to encourage you to try new things in your organisation. We use on-line discussions to share your experiences and address your specific questions. You will have access to the programme for two years.

The programme is now closed.

What’s my investment?

There is nothing else like this programme on the market; it is specific to risk facilitation and you’ll be supported directly by two leading experts. So how much should it cost? Well, to spend a day with Penny or Ruth one-to-one would cost four figures. To develop the skills yourself from scratch, as Penny and Ruth have done, would take years and years!

So let’s think about travelling to one of Penny’s workshops. You’d need to pay £995 plus VAT plus travel to the location, hotel costs of around £200 as well as the opportunity costs of being out of the office for 2 days. Well into four figures, depending on how far you have to travel.

This programme uses video footage from a workshop run by Penny, and enables you to learn in your own way with access to help to deal with your specific questions and issues. To develop your skills in this way is less than half the cost, but you should get all the benefits you would from a classroom-based experience – arguably more because you’ll have more time to absorb the information and practice, more time to interact with others with similar challenges and more targeted advice and support from the experts.

The cost of this self study programme is £400 plus VAT for individuals in the EU.

I want to sign up now

What else will I receive?

In addition to the modules described above, each participant will receive a copy of the book: ‘A Short Guide to Facilitating Risk Management’, access to teleseminars on risk attitude and all the sessions from our Virtual Risk summit.

How do I know this will work for me?

Penny is well known for her virtual working summits and teleseminars, which have been described as engaging, inspiring and helpful. We’ll use this experience to ensure that the calls help you to put what you learn into practice.

To make sure that our programmes work for each participant, we review the programme as we go through, making changes in response to the individual needs of participants.

If you’d like to find out what participants felt about our facilitating risk workshop, have a look at what they said here. That shows that together, we have all the practical experience necessary to make sure that this group programme makes a real difference to the results you achieve when you facilitate risk management.

To Sum Up: It’s tough engaging people to identify, own and manage risk.

This programme will equip participants to do just that, through each step of the risk management process. By joining in, you’ll understand the process itself as well as the human aspects that make the difference.

You’ll be working with others who are just as committed to developing their skills. You’ll be supported throughout by leading experts in facilitating risk management. You’ll have access to a book, to videos explaining each step, to reading material and to audio recordings, so you can learn in the ways that suit you best. More importantly, you’ll share the journey with others through the discussion forum.