My entire career has, in one way or another, been centred around the management of risk.
From early training as a financial auditor through to my current roles assisting businesses and Audit and Risk Committees at governance level.
One thing that I have learned is that whenever a risk crystallises into an issue, it seldom travels 100 per cent as we could predict.
In many cases there will be slight nuances which create uncertainty or require special management.
However, from time to time the outcomes of risk travel in ways that we could never have comprehended.
This is particularly the case when an issue is engineered such as wilful damage and fraud but it is also a crucial aspect of what I call macro risks – those that are bigger than just a single entity.
Covid-19 is one such macro risk.
No one likes uncertainty, and uncertainty is what this virus brings in spades.
So, how to respond? If you have been following my articles of late here are the main points:
•Be risk aware and risk prepared
•Have a plan (business continuity plan)
•Buy local and support your community
•This time will be challenging but it will end.
And as this situation evolves there will be more risk to manage.
• Premium - Russell Bell: 'Don't panic Captain Mainwaring' - leaders must remain calm as coronavirus panic sets in
• Russell Bell: Buy local best way to mitigate virus impact on Whanganui businesses
• Premium - Russell Bell: 'My top Whanganui businesses for 2019'
• Premium - Russell Bell: Teamwork, the difference between business success or failure
On Saturday the government introduced a four-stage alert system (we are currently at 3) and the Prime Minister has announced moving NZ to level 4, which pretty much equates to a shut down.
While humans are wired for emotional response it is probably most important that we face the challenges of the next weeks and months by engaging our frontal cortex and applying as much logic as possible.
I have been reading and listening to podcasts about people in extreme pressure environments and almost without fail they all apply logic to their situations.
They also break their problems / challenges down into manageable chunks rather than getting overwhelmed by the big issue(s) that they are facing.
In this way they are able to find a path to success (this is from Navy Seals, to business owners to politicians to high performing sportspeople).
The other thing that they highlight is the importance of teams and community.
I touched on this last week and extend this to say again that we very much need to look after each other.
Hearing about how Navy Seals are selected, it is not the strongest (mentally and physically) who survive their intensive and rigorous selection process – it is those who, even when they are under pressure and physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted, can put the team and their fellow Seal before themselves that succeed.
Because the unit (team) is what is most important, the ability to ensure in the most challenging and dangerous of circumstances that no one is left behind.
That, readers, is what is required here and I am personally thinking about how and what I can do especially in a time of what amounts to a lock down.
When you read this we will be in a different state / alert level than when I wrote it.
It may be that we have community spread or someone you know may be affected by it.
In these times we need to be following the requirements of Government and Health practitioners but also rallying together even when in isolation.
With all of the above in mind my phone line is open.
If you want to talk about how you are managing your business through this and risk in general I'm here to help or can point you in the direction of someone who can. 021 244 2421 is the number – you don't have to be a client of Balance or even be based in Whanganui and, so long as it is not a lengthy call, there is no charge.
I took a call last week pertaining to a business in Auckland where it was just to confirm the caller's thinking was correct.
In almost 30 years of working with risk, there may be an idea or an experience that I have had that could help you even in a small way.
I wish everyone the best of health and together we will come out the other side of this.
•Balance Consulting is a Whanganui consultancy specialising in business strategy, process excellence and leadership mentoring — contact Russell Bell on 021 2442421 or John Taylor on 027 4995872