The value of an outside-in perspective

Following my article: Reflecting on the past 365 days! I’d like to deliver here some reflections around the following…

The value of an outside-in perspective

The concept of taking an outside-in perspective to leadership and management first started gaining traction around 2010. At that time, George Day and Christine Moorman published their book “Strategy from the Outside In”, explaining the value of strategy development based on market insights and customer value. The book gained massive success for its insights into how companies such as P&G ride out the storms of multiple market down cycles and somehow remain profitable.

The concept of taking an outside-in perspective to leadership and management first started gaining traction around 2010

In 2011, renowned psychologist Daniel Kahnemann published his bestseller “Thinking, Fast and Slow”. In the book, he told a story about a group he had previously worked with, which had made some errors in forecasting due to an inward-looking approach.

Kahnemann’s story made a compelling case for collecting as much external information as possible to aid the process of making decisions. Not just strategy-level decisions as in the 2010 book, but as Kahnemann himself said: “the argument for the outside view should be made on general grounds”.

Recently, I’ve been considering how learning the value of the outside-in perspective has guided my career journey from the corporate world to full-fledged entrepreneurship.

Breaking Silos for Better Decision Making

During my corporate career, I had the opportunity to create and facilitate a discussion forum for peers in the risk management area, many of whom were working in large Swiss companies. The forum was very well received among the colleagues who attended, with many people asking for repeat events or organizing separate meetups. The main reason the event was so successful was down to people from different organizations, and across different sectors, finding common threads in the discussions.

The opportunity to talk to people who had a different perspective gave participants fresh ideas about how to approach their own particular challenges. In some cases, understanding that others share the same issues gave participants some reassurance that their problems weren’t unique, echoing Kahneman’s advice about collecting external metrics in order to define your own yardsticks.

The reactions from the forum participants gave me a deeper understanding of the value of developing connections across boundaries. The experience gave me a more profound realization that working without silos isn’t a nice-to-have — it’s a key enabler of effective risk management.

Leveraging the Entrepreneurial Mindset

When I left the corporate world to start my own consultancy business, an inevitable part of the journey to becoming an entrepreneur involved changing my mindset. A corporate entity operates on rules, policies, procedures and fixed governance processes that are (to a greater or lesser extent) documented, known and followed by everyone. While these rules are necessary to running a company, they can also have the unfortunate side effect of limiting creative thinking.

As an entrepreneur, there are no rules, no policies or procedures or instruction manuals

As an entrepreneur, there are no rules, no policies or procedures or instruction manuals. I had to navigate my own way through all the new and unfamiliar activities involved with setting up a business from scratch. While it can be daunting at times, it’s also exciting. I found that with total freedom to operate, I could think more creatively. I developed the mindset that nothing is impossible and became more proactive in bringing my ideas to fruition.

With this shift of mindset, I decided that I wanted to funnel my energy and experience into some kind of a platform for risk professionals to share knowledge and expertise. Recalling my experience with the discussion forum and throughout my professional life, I’ve always enjoyed and found value in developing networks, connecting other people and creating a sense of community between peers.

Connecting people across boundaries

So, the idea for Risk-!n came about, thanks also in part to my associate Antoine Lacombe who persuaded me to step out on a limb and start this new adventure.

At the time we were very open-minded about the direction Risk-!n might have taken. Thankfully and to my delight, the first event was a resounding success. We had close to 200 participants from three continents representing multiple industry sectors. 98% of participants said they would attend again, and 98% also said they would recommend the event to a friend. Suffice to say, I’m very much looking forward to opening the doors on the second Risk-!n conference just two months from now.

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Seeing through the eyes of others

Over the last decade, the value of the outside-in perspective is better understood and accepted, and not just on the macro level. Collaboration is more powerful when individuals and teams within an organization take an outside-in view of their own work.

Building connections, talking to those outside of your regular circles and finding common threads all help us as individuals to gain an outside-in perspective. Seeing through the eyes of others enables us to find new ways of solving problems, driving decisions and taking action.

This is the guiding principle of the Risk-!n event – breaking down silos to better manage risks. Across two days, participants from different disciplines and organizations will have the opportunity to share experiences and learnings in the areas of risk, resilience, insurance and, security. Registration for the 2019 Risk-!n conference is now open and spaces are selling out fast. Make sure you register today to secure your spot!

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Orgs grapple with pros and cons of remote workers

Despite the growing number of employees that work remotely, security professionals fear that remote workers pose risks to the enterprise, according to a new study published by OpenVPN.

An overwhelming majority (90%) of survey respondents said that remote workers are a security risk to the organization, according to the report Remote Work Is the Future – But Is Your Organization Ready for It? The report’s findings are based on a survey of 250 IT leaders, from the manager level through the C-suite.

Still, 92% of respondents agreed that the benefits of remote work outweigh the security risks. “For employees, it provides greater efficiency and lower stress levels: 82% of telecommuters reported less stress and 30% said it allowed them to accomplish more work in less time,” the report said. In addition, companies reportedly save an average of $11,000 per year per remote employee.

Read entire post Orgs grapple with Pros and Cons of remote workers | Kacy Zurkus | InfoSecurity

New ISO standard puts humans at the centre of business

From the advent of the Internet to what is now known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the latest cutting-edge technologies – among them robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things – are fundamentally changing how we live, work and relate to each other.

ISO 27501:2019, The human-centred organization – Guidance for managers, can help organizations to meet these challenges.

The issue for business in this new era is not so much about the bottom line, or even just corporate social responsibility, it is also about taking a human-centred approach to the future of work and finding the right tools to ensure that organizations are successful and sustainable.

The likes of AI are presenting a great opportunity to help everyone – leaders, policy makers and people from all income groups and countries – to lead more enriching and rewarding lives, but they are also posing challenges for how to harness these technologies to create an inclusive, human-centred future.

Read entire post New ISO standard puts humans at the centre of business | Elizabeth Gasiorowski-Denis |

Breaking new ground with better innovation management

Essential for business success, innovation is about keeping up with the competition through new products, services or ways of doing things. A new series of International Standards helps organizations maximize their innovation management processes and get the best out of all their bright ideas.

Innovation doesn’t have to mean dazzling new technology or life-transforming inventions. It could mean finding a better way to do things or modifying products that over time lead to significant long-term improvements. But harnessing these ideas and improvements calls for sound strategies to ensure they work their best.

The new ISO 56000 series of International Standards is aimed at providing organizations with guidelines and processes that enable them to get the most out of their innovation projects.

Read entire post Breaking new ground with better innovation management | Clare Naden |

ISO 30414 – New International Standard for human capital reporting

But measuring the true return on that investment can be a tricky business. It just got a lot easier with the first International Standard for human capital reporting.

It is well known that effective human resources (HR) strategies can have a positive impact on organizational performance. And with workforce costs making up to 70 % of an organization’s expenditure, it is important to get that strategy right.

ISO 30414, Human resource management – Guidelines for internal and external human capital reporting, is the first International Standard that allows an organization to get a clear view of the actual contribution of its human capital. Applicable to enterprises of all types and sizes, it provides guidelines on core HR areas such as organizational culture, recruitment and turnover, productivity, health and safety, and leadership.

Read entire post New ISO International Standard for human capital reporting | Clare Naden |

Working together to improve organisational resilience: Human Aspects

Whilst working in Business Continuity, I soon realised that human aspects are a significant part of implementing a successful strategy. Being able to count on the backing of executive management provides a sound foundation.

Once senior management has trust in your team by them displaying competence and integrity, they will be willing to participate. They may challenge and question why a certain solution has been chosen and this is always healthy. Nevertheless, with a good level of management engagement, direction and drive to move any immovable objects, progress follows.

As an example, Project Management relies on obtaining support from resources that are not totally assigned to a project.Working in the world of Organisational Resilience also requires skills where you will need to build virtual teams. As an example, Project Management relies on obtaining support from resources that are not totally assigned to a project. You must gain approval to get resources from senior managers. Exploit those resources carefully and gain the trust of the virtual team members.

This is where the input from Incident Management, Security, Information Security and Facilities Management may be sought. If you manage these resources well you will not only be successful for one set of tasks but will be welcomed by them again in the future.

Definition of a successful pilot is one that has the same number of takeoffs and landings.

Managing situations where some of your team may not have the needed skills and knowledge can be difficult. It can also be one of the most satisfying successes! Taking somebody from a non BC background, training, mentoring and developing them is very rewarding. What is forgotten in the present day is that these candidates bring other useful skills and knowledge from other positions along with bags of enthusiasm.

In many organisations, the ‘task’ is the driver. The human ‘aspect’ can be forgotten. Your success will be far greater if you don’t forget the business relationship aspect.

Cybersecurity Awareness Must Generate From The Top

In a cybersecurity situation, your first line of defense may be to call the CTO, but planning and prevention is really an enterprise-wide responsibility.

Published on Chief Executive | By Phil Friedman

When executives acknowledge that cybersecurity should be integral to the overall strategy of an organization, a culture is created where security isn’t just a cost center or required set of checkboxes, but rather a game plan to better enable the business.

With the right preparation, CEOs can lead management in preparing for and reducing the risk of cyberattacks across all lines of business, potentially affecting their customers, partners, shareholders, staff and company reputation.

But how? While cyberattacks are on the rise, companies can mitigate the pending disaster by taking a team-based approach.

”As leaders, we need to ensure that cybersecurity is a priority – not an afterthought”

Read entire article Cybersecurity Awareness Must Generate From The Top | Chief Executive

BC Management’s 7th Edition Event Impact Management Assessment

BC Management would like to invite you to participate in their 7th Edition Event Impact Management Study.

View Table of Contents from the 2016 report.

This survey will be used to assess how organizations prepare for events as well as gauge how specific events (accident, human disaster, natural and technical) have impacted organizations by highlighting what was activated in times of an event, the impact to the business, the impact to personnel, downtime and estimated financial loss by event. In addition, this study will also evaluate lessons learned and what was successful and not successful while activating the BCM program during an event.

​The survey will take approximately 20-30 minutes to complete. Respondents will receive a complimentary Event Impact Management Report, which is an aggregate report highlighting the data findings.  You will also be offered within the study to participate in a complimentary 30-minute BCM consultation.  Participation in the survey is completely confidential.

Who should participate?

  1. Participants must be responsible for contingency, resiliency, crisis management, emergency management or incident response planning.
  2. Study accommodates planners to global managers.
  3. Study doesn’t accommodate professionals who provide consulting services.

​Participate in the 7th Edition Event Impact Management Study by January 22nd.

Only study participants will receive a complimentary copy of the study findings. Thank you in advance for participating. We look forward to sharing your results.

BC Management, a global leader in recruiting and placing continuity, resiliency, crisis management and risk management professionals, is assisting multiple clients with their personnel needs.

The Supply Chain and Food Safety culture: retail

What are your major challenges in maintaining a solid food safety culture?

The series on food safety culture along the food supply chain now focuses on food retailers. Previously examined was the creation of a culture of food safety in the primary production, distribution, processing and foodservice sectors of the global food supply chain.

Food Safety Magazine invited industry leaders in food retail to help elucidate the challenges around creating a culture of food safety.
The panelists are Ray Bowe, head of food safety and quality, Musgrave, Ireland, Katherine Di Tommaso, director, food safety, Walmart Canada Corp., Canada, Gillian Kelleher, vice president of food safety and quality assurance, Wegmans Food Markets, U.S., and Nicola Sharman, senior hygiene technologist, Marks & Spencer, UK. Their comments are provided below in random order.

How do you define food safety culture in your (or any) organization, and do you think these definitions differ between management and line workers?

Read entire article The Supply Chain and Food Safety Culture: Retail | Food Safety Magazine

Can regulation influence governance behaviour?

Robustly equipped regulatory systems can influence and nudge companies towards better behaviour.

The risk with investing in poorly governed companies is clear and significant. Bad corporate governance is an express highway to losses and, sometimes, big failures. Every stakeholder loses out. Yet, awareness and voluntary acceptance of best practices never been forthcoming. The need to regulate corporate governance is clear.
India’s corporate governance score has been improving.
The Kotak committee report has moved the good governance agenda forward by proposing new rules. Among all the recommendations in the report, the regulatory capacity aspect stands out the most. Compared to past reports on governance, the Kotak report has specific recommendations on how to build infrastructure for monitoring and enforcing laws.
It is notable that over the last two decades, India’s listed marketplace has grown many times over in both complexity and size, outmatching the increases in regulatory capacity.

The risk with investing in poorly governed companies is clear and significant.

Read complete article
Can regulation influence governance behaviour? | Livemint

Putting waste water to good use

Wastewater irrigation is an economical and high-in-nutrients option for even the poorest farmers. But, if untreated, the consequences for our health and the environment can be catastrophic. Discover the techniques that could transform agriculture as we know it, offering perhaps the most sustainable and efficient use of resources available today.

It’s not uncommon to see a Rwandan farmer at work tilling the land by hoe. Motorized engines are only slowly starting to be introduced into the country. The small parcels growing bananas, maize, sweet potatoes or even cassava roots that dominate the agricultural landscape belong to smallholders living off their land. In Rwanda, like many other developing countries, most of the produce is consumed domestically, but the country has high hopes for the future. An ambitious government initiative to reform the agriculture sector, known as Vision 2020, is leading the way for change. But to be successful, it must first address the water challenge.

For centuries, water has been the deciding factor between plentiful food and hunger or starvation. Irrigation emerged as a way for humanity to take control over the elements, reducing risk and increasing efficiency. Today, a staggering 70 % of the world’s freshwater resources are used in agriculture, with irrigation taking the largest share. Yet, surprisingly, only 20 % of farmlands are irrigated. These, however, supply 40 % of the world’s food – a testament to the groundbreaking impact of irrigation. On a more somber note, these figures are also a stark reminder of the insecurity that still pervades the sector.


Managing scarce resources

By 2050, when the population reaches nine billion, we will need to produce 60 % more to feed everyone, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). To grow more, we need to irrigate more, but the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) tells us that, by then, the strain on our water resources will have increased by an astounding 55 %.

Although there is enough water to meet this demand, overconsumption and the consequences of climate change can lead to water scarcity, land degradation and food shortage, especially in the least developed regions. Empowering farmers to better manage water is vital. If not, the poorest will suffer. Something needs to change and waste could hold the answer.

Water technology solutions

Wastewater ticks both the sustainability and efficiency boxes, but it’s not an innovative breakthrough. The truth is that for many rural communities, especially in developing countries, sewage and wastewater are often the only source of water for irrigation. Even when other options are available, small farmers value its high nutrient content, which lowers or even removes the need for costly fertilizers. This practice has become essential to the livelihoods of many poor ­people in Asia, Latin America and Africa, including Rwanda. But there is a darker side. If wastewater is not treated before reuse, it can contaminate the crops, surrounding land and water supplies. The health risk to farmers, nearby communities and consumers could be catastrophic.


Wastewater management

Rwanda is just one of many countries for which untreated water is a problem. The country lacks technology for water retention. Its landscape is mountainous, which means that flooding and soil erosion are common. Together with increased urbanization, these factors contribute to the pollution of rivers and other water resources.


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ISO 37001 – Anti-Bribery Management Systems

Bribery is one of the world’s most destructive and challenging issues. With over US$ 1 trillion paid in bribes each year, the consequences are catastrophic, reducing quality of life, increasing poverty and eroding public trust.

An overview of the standard and how it can impact your business

Yet despite efforts on national and international levels to tackle bribery, it remains a significant issue. Recognizing this, ISO has developed a new standard to help organizations fight bribery and promote an ethical business culture.

ISO 37001, Anti-bribery management systems, specifies a series of measures to help organizations prevent, detect and address bribery. These include adopting an anti-bribery policy, appointing a person to oversee anti-bribery compliance, training, risk assessments and due diligence on projects and business associates, implementing financial and commercial controls, and instituting reporting and investigation procedures.

It is designed to help your organization implement an anti-bribery management system, or enhance the controls you currently have. It helps to reduce the risk of bribery occurring and can demonstrate to your stakeholders that you have put in place internationally recognized good-practice anti-bribery controls.

RELATED: Now offering ISO 37001 Anti-Bribery training and certification

Who is it for?

ISO 37001 can be used by any organization, large or small, whether it be in the public, private or voluntary sector, and in any country. It is a flexible tool, which can be adapted according to the size and nature of the organization and the bribery risk it faces.


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