20:20 Hindsight

Hindsight bias ‘Hindsight bias’ has been defined as believing that the onset of a past event was predictable and completely obvious, when actually, the outcome could not have been predicted. Politicians, media (and social media) commentators, and sometimes Counsel Assisting commissions of inquiry, all demonstrate a tendency to this form of cognitive distortion. Directors and… Continue reading 20:20 Hindsight

Federated Risk

A federation is ‘a formal, enduring, coalition of largely independent non-profit groups established to realise such advantages as coordination of activities, development of collective strategies, and sharing of facilities or resources. A federation is itself an organisation with a clear membership, leadership structure and unique name.’ (Smith, A Dictionary of Non-profit Terms and Concepts, 2006)… Continue reading Federated Risk

Sharing Risk while avoiding a Blame Game

Responsibility and Accountability in Risk Governance My previous post highlighted governance issues associated with multiple parties sharing certain risk management responsibilities around the disembarkation of passengers from the Ruby Princess, at a time when COVID-19 infections were on the rise. The importance of establishing shared understandings about the risk perspectives of affected and involved parties… Continue reading Sharing Risk while avoiding a Blame Game

The Incident ‘Post Mortem’: Facts, Causes and Factors

Most non-profit boards rightly focus their risk governance on identifying and assessing risks before developing a set of escalating controls to prevent an adverse event. They then consider how their organisation should respond should the hazardous event actually occur, and how those measures can best mitigate the damage that arises. Some also consider their incident… Continue reading The Incident ‘Post Mortem’: Facts, Causes and Factors

Risk borders, boundaries, and bridges

Learning from Others’ Mistakes – Part 9: Ruby Princess The Report of the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Ruby Princess (320 pp) offers numerous governance lessons for non-profit organisations as well as its target audiences in government. Notable among these is the heightened risk faced when multiple agencies and governance systems are involved. With… Continue reading Risk borders, boundaries, and bridges

Strategy and Risk: 2 sides of one coin

The argument that strategy and risk are two aspects of one governance activity has been highlighted by many pundits over time. In practice however, some non-profit boards still separate strategic planning from development and review of their risk register. My previous two posts (see links below) promoted the concept of continuous monitoring of the external… Continue reading Strategy and Risk: 2 sides of one coin

Looking outward and inward

Non-profit directors are not usually spies. They do need to gather and analyse ‘intelligence’ however, to inform their governance activities. This includes monitoring the external environment and internal systems, processes and performance. Business intelligence software and dashboards are available commercially. While some non-profits will be able to afford these, most smaller entities will seek free… Continue reading Looking outward and inward

Policy Models and Accounts

Non-profit advocacy work tends to focus mainly on government relations, especially regulatory measures (‘sticks’) affecting the non-profit’s stakeholders, but also policy measures which might fit the tags ‘carrot’ or ‘sermon’. (See also my earlier article ‘Carrots, Sticks and Sermons: sorting policy types’.) I often find that NFP directors and staff are unaware of the processes… Continue reading Policy Models and Accounts

Blockers or Enablers? The 3 lines of defence

Just as strategic mindsets can be framed in polarised pairs like Growth Vs Fixed, or Solution Vs Problem Oriented, risk management mindsets can also be described as Blocking or Enabling (see header illustration). While reducing any complex matter to a simple binary choice can lead to distorted thinking, when considering your risk mindset it is… Continue reading Blockers or Enablers? The 3 lines of defence

Diagnosis and Treatment in Leadership

I’ve long valued Bryan Whitefield’s insights and guidance on risk and adaptive leadership matters, and his recent article (highly recommended) on diagnosis and action at the Self and System levels, reminded me of another broad parallel I had noticed between health service and leadership concepts and processes. The ‘standard’ treatment process used by health practitioners… Continue reading Diagnosis and Treatment in Leadership