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Make it exciting not boring…

Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Organisations are not insane or stupid; however, if risk workshops are ineffective why does anyone persist in running them in the same way again and again? We believe that the answer lies in an obsession that the risk workshop is the only way to properly identify risks (primarily using brainstorming) and then once you have everyone captured in one place you might as well continue with assessment and response planning. Undoubtedly, this has some merits, perhaps at the beginning of a project, at a major milestone or after a significant change, but when it is used exclusively it can be repetitive and uninspiring. Good risk management requires open, creative minds, not closed ‘handle-turning’ behaviours. So, how do we stop risk workshops from becoming tedious and as a result more productive? We can start by adjusting ‘tried and tested’ processes to fit the particular circumstances. Doing so will, however, require that those involved accept the need for some space in which to ‘try and test’ something different – not different for the sake of it – but to see what new, useful insights might await.

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