Every business faces risk on a daily basis. These risks can be small with little impact or large with traumatic impact. Successful organizations recognize it takes dedicated effort to stay in front of their business risks. The question is: How do you know what risks to manage?
The first step in the process is to write down every known risk with the ability to alter or discontinue business operation. Take an inventory across the set of business functions from marketing and sales through order capture and processing, and finishing up with billing and collections. You cannot manage a risk you do not know about.
The second step in the process is to apply a risk factor to each of the identified risks. I recommend using a series or set of scores to determine the true impact of a risk. These include, but not limited to: Customer Experience Impact, Continued Operation Impact, Financial Impact, Workforce Impact, Technology Impact and finally Industry Impact. While this may seem like a lot of factors, you want to understand specific impacts in order to prioritize where you begin.
You are now ready to apply the Intentional Innovation techniques to the risk process. Our favorite technique is the Innovation Engineering Mind Map where you put the risk in the center box and surround it with customer, problem, promise and proof boxes. As you begin to populate each focus area (customer, problem, promise, proof) you will begin to get a picture of potential root cause items to test and validate. Take each one of these outputs into your Innovation Pipeline for solution alternatives.
You now have the ability to conduct the research and data mining for innovative options. During this step you will look for solutions for incremental improvement, transformational improvements and re-design improvements. Each option will have a set of investment needs that can be tested against the risk pain.
Business risks left unattended have the ability to become so devastating, a business cannot recover. Therefore, we recommend a monthly Risk Mitigation process be implemented. Remember, just like with the law, ignorance is not an acceptable excuse. Managing risk takes dedicated attention.
For more information on how to reduce your business risks contact IntelliThink LLC today. Bright ideas light the way for others to follow.