An upcoming conversation with the boss

What to read first: Risk in work unit business planning: Start here

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You can be in this exciting scene.

Your eyes meet across the large desk. On the desk is the business plan for your unit. The business plan is for the coming year. You have put a lot of time into this plan, though not enough time for you to feel genuinely comfortable about what happens next.

Continuing to look you in the eye, the boss asks:

Have you assessed the risks to achieving this plan? Why should I believe in it?

You look your boss right back in the eye, suppressing any tendency to look too pleased with yourself. You reply:

Yes, we have been through a risk assessment and management process, based on the International Standard and on the Australian Commonwealth Risk Management Policy.

We have results.

You have a few documents with you, but don’t hand them over. Useful as they are, they are not the point.

You then add:

Paperwork aside, it was a very good thing to do. As a result of that assessment, we can be fairly confident of reaching an acceptable outcome for the year and keeping the organisation out of trouble – subject to a couple of issues that we discovered as genuine threats. We should discuss those issues now.

We also found some pretty solid justifications for most of the protective practices we have been maintaining. There are others we might consider streamlining out for productivity.

Resolving these issues could lead to a new edition of the business plan, if changes are still possible.

The conversation then moves to any actual risks and reservations identified through the risk management process. That part of the conversation is interesting and fresh for both of you.

After leaving the boss, you feel the relief of passing some background worries back up the line, though you also have some new commitments. You weigh up the cost of reaching this point of relative comfort. In the background, you secretly wonder if this moment might represent a quiet but permanent change in the way your unit is seen.

You decide that there was some work involved. Quite a few hours altogether. But it was genuinely rewarding. Not because it got the risk management out of the way, but because it helped you think through what is going to make this year a success, or at least, won’t turn into a disaster. As a result you have changed some of your intentions, and feel more confident about those that don’t need changing.

The value from it wasn’t to make new discoveries. You didn’t try to do any mysterious magic through emotionally bonding workshops. You didn’t have to force hard numbers onto soft stories. You just built an answer to the question the boss was always going to ask, internally if not out loud. You might have been asking that same question.

The question was Why should I believe in this business plan?

You answered the question in a useful way. Perhaps even a productive and interesting way.

If you want to be in that moment, you’ve found Clear Lines that lead to it.

Risk in work unit business planning: A how-to guide

What is it?
Why might care about risk in work unit business planning

First steps

Next steps

Final steps

Find the unit outcomes that matter

How your unit might not deliver the outcomes

Taking action

Why this way?
How the Clear Lines are different


Parent articles

Risk in work unit business planning: Start here

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