As a risk management professional, how do you improve the capability and capacity of your team members to better manage, identify and assess risks your organization may face? In this session at RIMS 2021, Andrew Bent, Director of Business Continuity & Insurance at Sage Group plc, draws on the coaching experiences of great baseball managers to elevate organizational risk management success.
Bringing Your Organization Home
As the baseball great, Yogi Berra once said, “Baseball is ninety-percent mental and the other half is physical” and the same could certainly be said for risk management. All good coaches share something intrinsic—knowledge of what brings their team together, and the strengths and weaknesses of the individuals on their team. That same knowledge can help deliver unified organizational goals within a risk management team and provide critical results for all stakeholders. Like baseball, to serve the team’s goals, it is necessary to have all these pieces brought together to achieve an objective.
Coaching Baseball vs. Risk Management
- Positional players have specialist skills that need to be developed to support team performance.
- “Stars” can hit the home runs, but they need to play well with others to win the game.
- Minor adjustments make monumental differences.
- The game requires the whole team to retain focus on the objective all day, every day.
- If you lose one game, you need to pick yourself up and go back to the plate the next day.
Coaching Risk Management
- Subject matter experts and others contribute specialist skills, but these need to work with others to achieve objectives.
- Managing risk in only one area could mean the rest of the organization.
- Control performance is typically incremental, rather than transformational.
- The organization must retain focus on its strategic objectives over the long term.
- Errors, incidents and problems will occur; it is not the event but the recovery that counts.
Coaching Questions and When to Use Them
When coaching members of your organization on how they can improve risk management performance, are you asking the right questions? The following scenarios and subsequent questions can help steer the conversation for a desired outcome.
Scenario: A new action or control is proposed to manage a risk and you need to draw out the logic behind it.
Question: How will taking this action help us succeed?
- Are we trying to change the likelihood or impact of a risk?
- Do we already do this somewhere else that we could learn from?
- Who else needs to be involved for this to succeed?
Scenario: Someone refuses to contribute to shared risk responsibilities.
Question: How will it impact the [team/organization] achieve its [specific] objective if you [don’t/can’t/won’t] help to manage the issue?
Scenario: A risk control works as designed and prevents an incident, or it doesn’t work and an incident occurs.
Question: What would you want other members of the team to learn from the experience?
Scenario: There is a need to address issues around capability, and where the skills already exist.
Question: What skills do we need to manage these risks, and who might already have these skills within the [team/organization]?
Scenario: There is a need to refocus attention on shared objectives.
Question: What is the objective we are trying to support with this decision?