I live in a country where I see everyday people trying to influence their luck. From burning incense and praying to numerous different gods, to burning paper representations of gifts to their ancestors, and hanging little trinkets from their rear-view mirrors in their car. This is a foreign, albeit really interesting concept to me. I wish them all the success they are praying for, but this approach isn’t for me. My approach to influencing luck doesn’t look anything like this. My approach is world recognised, is completely non-spiritual, is business-centric, and has been proven to work across all industries in many countries around the world.
This blog is to provide some practical measures to ensure your business has ‘luck on its side’.
An old saying goes “Success takes 10% high-intelligence, 50% hard-work, and 40% good luck”. Hard-work is drilled into us from when we first attend school or sometimes earlier. The realities of high-intelligence becomes apparent to everyone somewhere along the line. But what about good luck? I’ve heard three schools of thought on good luck:
- It is just something that happens or doesn’t happen and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. So, let’s forget it’s there.
- Always think positively, because positive thoughts attract good luck.
- You can proactively influence and leverage from good luck.
School of thought number 1 is basically saying that the 40% contribution of luck to success is completely out of our hands. We brute-force our way to success with the shackles of whatever bad-luck comes our way. This is not useful to us at all.
School of thought number 2 is somewhat useful. You can read about this school of thought on numerous other blogs I’m sure, and self help books called ‘The Power of Positive Thinking’ or something similar. I give it some merit in that someone who gives up after striking bad luck will more often than not be worse off than someone who maintains a positive attitude and tries to fix things. In a way, this is part of managing luck, but is only a fraction of school of thought 3.
School of thought 3 is what this blog is focussing on. Real influence over luck. Mitigate the fallout from bad-luck, and grow the positive of good-luck.
Proactively Manage Luck
It doesn’t matter if your organization is small with only 10 people or large with 100,000 people. With luck contributing 40% towards your success, it is definitely something worth managing now.
This flow chart below gives you a preview of a pro-active, world recognised best practice process for managing luck.
This may seem familiar to some of you. I have taken part of a process from best practice, ISO31000 and replaced the work ‘risk’ with ‘luck’. Why? Because risk is luck and luck is risk. Risk is the possibility of something occurring that influences your ability to achieve your objectives. It can be good. It can be bad. Somewhere along the way however, people started seeing risk management as only focussing on the negatives. Somewhere along the way people starting seeing risk management as a huge overhead and something not worth managing. I’ve used the term ‘luck’ here as an opportunity to review Risk Management free from the preconceived ideas, and re-evaluate it from a fresh point of view.
The reality of risk management is that it is one of the largest contributors to business success. Even if it were a large overhead, it is still something that all organizations should be doing. I’ve heard counter arguments that ‘good executive decisions’ are the largest contributor to business success and I agree to a certain extent with the following clarification – decisions can only be good when the risks (both positive and negative) are well understood.
The second reality is that risk management is in fact NOT a large overhead. It is something that we are all doing already. Without a consistent organizational framework, without appropriate governance, supported by an optimized system of people, process, and technology however, your risk management system is not working as well as it should be. You’re not as successful as you could be and your risk management systems have a larger overhead than need be.
The third reality is that effective risk management that truly contributes to business success is so seldom implemented in an organization that it is in fact a differentiator amongst competition. It separates the organizations that seem to succeed or fail depending on the general ‘flavour’ of the world economy versus organizations that thrive no matter what is going on around them.
Principles of Risk Management
Looking at the principles of Risk Management according to ISO31000, we can see that in fact the concept of risk management has always been to contribute to business success. There’s nothing in there that indicate that it is only negative risks or that it will take a lot of time and/or cost a lot of money.
If you’re not familiar with the ISO31000 principles, or just haven’t read them for a while, please take your time reading the principles below and challenge your pre-conceived ideas of risk management. I’ve read them many times, and every time I do, I still have an ‘ah ha’ moment!
a) Creates value
b) Integral part of the organizational processes
c) Part of decision making
d) Explicitly addresses uncertainty
e) Systematic, structured and timely
f) Based on the best available information
h) Takes human and cultural factors into account
i) Transparent and inclusive
j) Dynamic, iterative and responsive to change
k) Facilitates continual improvement and enhancement of the organization
Not convinced yet? Fair enough. There are a lot of concepts out there claiming to be the number one contributor to success. So, I leave you with an opportunity (being a popular term for positive-risk). Contact me for a free Value Lifecycle Management service relating to Enterprise Risk Management. We will have a Senior Advisor visit you for a week to understand your objectives, your people, structures, cultures, processes, and analyse your enterprise’s current state. The deliverable of the service is a future state solution that meets your requirements and will help you achieve your objectives, a roadmap to get from your current state to future state, and business case including costings and benefits, all tailored to your organization. We include all figures provided by you and used, all calculations and algorithms, and case-studies. The future state will explicitly address any concerns you may have about resistance to change, complexity of implementing a future state, and other organizational priorities that you may have. We will present our business case to you and to any other stakeholders in your organization that you feel appropriate.
Of course, this is an obligation-free and cost-free service to you.