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Risk Assessment 101: How to Identify and Mitigate Risk for Your Business

Welcome to Take an Aspirin, the Business Leaders' newsletter from Aspirin Business Solutions! This is a monthly release containing our best practice, tools, and advice to help develop stronger businesses, motivated teams, and confident leaders.


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In this month's email:

  • Balancing Global Awareness with Hope and Belief

  • Strong Businesses: Evaluating Risk to Weather a Crisis

  • Motivated Teams: Supercharging your Learning & Development Activities

  • Confident Leaders: Engaging Teams & Stakeholders to Implement Change


In a rush? Read the Executive Summaries for each section.

 

Balancing Global Awareness with Hope and Belief


The Executive Summary:

  • WEF's Global Risks Report identified a 'polycrisis' of threats, including cost of living crises, natural disasters, climate change, and cybercrime

  • Symptoms of stress, such as vertigo, digestive problems, sleep struggles, and back ache, are becoming increasingly common

  • It is important to be aware of the bigger picture, but also to keep perspective, remember all the positive things in the world, and know that positive change is on the way


In our Leadership Gym this month, I said ‘unprecedented’ seemed an inappropriate term given how often we’ve used it during the past three years. Luckily, or not, when the World Economic Forum met this month (as they do at the start of each year to discuss and address the big economic issues of the day), their Global Risks Report* provided us with a new term: ‘polycrisis’, meaning a “cluster of related global risks with compounding effects, such that the overall impact exceeds the sum of each part”.

The threats identified by the WEF’s report include cost of living crises, natural disasters, climate change, and cybercrime, amongst others - all threats we’re aware of and affected by, but often feel powerless to prevent.

At the same time, I know of many people whose bodies are showing symptoms of stress. These symptoms are not always obvious, and include vertigo, digestive problems, sleep struggles, and back ache.

So, whilst it’s important for us to be aware of the ‘bigger picture’, it’s also important to keep perspective, to remember all the positive things there are in the world, and that things always seem worse before they get better. Conscious change is always preceded by awareness, and we’re receiving awareness in great big dollops right now; therefore, positive change is on the way. More importantly, if we lose our hope and belief that things will be okay, albeit rocky, we give up, feel overwhelmed, and that creates a much greater and more immediate threat.


 

Strong Businesses - Evaluating Risk to Weather a Crisis


The Executive Summary:

  • Risk evaluation key to strategy development, spotting opportunities as well as reducing threats

  • Use PESTLE Model to assess environment and identify potential opportunities and threats

  • Follow up with Failure Mode and Effects Analysis to analyse potential effects of risks and develop strategies to mitigate them

  • Consider examples of Tesla, Kodak, and Blockbuster in regard to capitalising on, or underestimating risk.



Business leaders must be prepared to adapt to the ever-changing external and internal threats that face their businesses.


In our Leadership Gym this month, we looked at the risks facing our particular businesses. We used the PESTLE Model, a great tool for business leaders to use to assess the external environment and identify potential opportunities and threats. It stands for Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental, and is a useful way to think about how different external factors might affect an organisation.


For example, if a business leader is considering a new product launch, they should consider the political environment in that country. Are there any government policies that could affect the product launch? What economic conditions exist that may influence consumer demand? Are there any social trends that could impact the product launch? Knowing the answers to these questions can help a business leader make more informed decisions and better plan for success.


We then followed up with the FMEA Tool (Failure Mode and Effects Analysis), to analyse the potential effects of our risks, and develop strategies to mitigate them.


Risk evaluation is key to strategy development, spotting opportunities as much as reducing threats. Think about how both Kodak and Blockbusters underestimated the impact of digital technology on their industries. Whereas, Tesla spotted the growing desire and need to switch to more sustainable sources of energy for cars, and capitalized on this hugely, quickly overtaking the net worth of industry giants including General Motors and Ford. In 2021, with a market cap of $1 trillion, Tesla was worth as much as the next 10 most valuable global automakers combined. Tesla’s share price plummeted by 70% last year, but not because of the external polycrisis threats; Elon Musk’s fall from grace makes interesting reading for leaders and investors.


 

Motivated Teams - Supercharging your Learning & Development Activities


The Executive Summary:

  • 93% of people would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career

  • 42% of employees felt their company was not maximizing their skills

  • Gen Z is the most self-focused generation in the workforce

  • Motivational Maps are an invaluable tool for organisations looking to retain employees and ensure their success

  • They can be used to focus more efficiently on those most motivated to learn, and tailor learning and development programmes to individual needs



When it comes to employee retention, one of the most important elements to consider is the learning and development opportunities available to staff.

Recent studies have revealed that 93% of respondents would remain at a company longer if it invested in their career. Additionally, 42% of employees seeking a new job didn’t feel that their company was maximizing their abilities and skills.

For the younger generations, career growth is particularly important. Gen Z is the most self-focused generation in the workforce right now and they are looking for companies that can provide them with the skills and opportunities they need to progress.


So, how can you implement learning & development programmes that are sure to generate engagement, develop skills, and boost retention?


We use Motivational Maps with most of our clients. They're an incredibly powerful profiling tool that reveals what motivates an individual, and how satisfied that motivation is.

Motivational Maps can have a really positive impact on the implementation and success of learning and development programmes. Organisations can use them to spend more efficiently, by focusing initially on those learners who are the most motivated to learn, e.g. those with high expert, or whose Motivators align most closely to the subject matter, such as a Defender learning about risk management.


Motivational Map data can also be leveraged in other ways to support learning and development. For example, highly Director-motivated individuals can be put on a management fast-track programme to develop their skills and Stars would shine in a course on confidence and public-speaking. Those with high Friend would benefit most from team-building activities, and Searchers would love to learn about leadership and social responsibility, to help them become more impactful in their roles.

Motivational Maps are an invaluable tool for organisations looking to retain their employees and ensure their success. By understanding each individual's needs and motivation, organisations can tailor their learning and development programmes to ensure employees feel valued and supported in their roles.


This not only improves their job satisfaction, but also creates a happier, more productive workplace.


 

Confident Leaders - Engaging Teams & Stakeholders to Implement Change


The Executive Summary:

  • It is essential for team leaders to balance global awareness with hope and belief, especially in times of rapid change

  • John Kotter's book ‘Our Iceberg is Melting’ outlines the importance of creating awareness and evidence of the need for change, before engaging a team

  • Team leaders must create an environment of trust and respect, focus on communication, and be proactive in leading change

  • Change can be a complex task, but with the right attitude and strategy it is possible to create a culture of change that will benefit the organisation and individuals



As team leaders, it is essential to be aware of the need to balance global awareness with hope and belief. This is especially true in times of rapid change, where our ability to engage our teams and other stakeholders will be tested.


One of my favourite books to help us understand this process is ‘Our Iceberg is Melting’ by John Kotter. Written from the perspective of a penguin, it underlines the importance of creating awareness and evidence of the need for change, before asking a team to unite their efforts. To make this happen, team leaders must ensure that everyone understands the process of change, and that they are surrounded by trustworthy people with similar values.


When it comes to engaging our teams and other stakeholders in change, there are a few strategies that team leaders can use.


Firstly, it is important to create an environment of trust and respect, where everyone feels comfortable to express their ideas and suggestions. This will help to ensure that all voices are heard, and that no one feels left out or ignored.


Secondly, it is important to focus on communication. In times of rapid change, it is essential that team leaders communicate clearly and openly with their teams. This means providing regular updates on progress, as well as being available to answer questions and address concerns.


Finally, it is important to be proactive in leading change. Team leaders should take the initiative to identify opportunities for improvement, and to create a plan for making them happen. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and that everyone is working towards the same goals.

At the end of the day, leading change is a complex task, and team leaders must be prepared to face the challenges that come with it. With the right attitude and strategy, however, it is possible to create a culture of change that will not only benefit the organisation, but also the individuals involved.


 

Take an Aspirin - Creating Confident Leaders

We’re running another open course for our award-winning Liberating Leadership Programme to accelerate the confidence and capability of 8 leaders and managers.


"Before this programme, I was a bit a lost, as a leader without the tools. Now I, and my Management Team, have alignment, structure, and a framework. We’re singing off the same hymn sheet and have a process of what to, do that enables me to be more objective, specific and focused on getting the best from our people."

Dr Joshua Smith, Principal and Co-founder of Life Balance Chiropractic Centre

The programme is based on 25 years of research into the beliefs and behaviours of high-performing leaders of all kinds of organisations. The research discovered the shared beliefs and behaviours that create high-performance, and captured them into a framework of 4 Steps, 15 Skills and a ‘high-performance’ mindset, that has courtesy, respect and high expectations at its core. Supported by 4 diagnostics to compare your own leadership beliefs and behaviours to the research, this programme is delivered over six weekly, 2.5-hour online workshops. Not only does it fit more easily into busy schedules, and enable remote leaders to learn together, it provides time between each workshop to embed new knowledge and implement what’s been learned. We believe in providing high-quality development at affordable prices, so click here for more information! P.S. We also offer a fast-track option for 1-2 people who just can’t wait to get going! Just enquire now via the link above. Thank you for reading, and we’ll see you next month! Team Aspirin - Susannah, Heath and Kyle



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