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Why it matters

Teams are obliged to simultaneously manage their operating environment, their stakeholders, potential threats, and their own flaws and vulnerabilities. Risk assessment must take into account the probability of occurrence and the potential repercussions. From there, a preventive strategy can be developed. Experienced teams always keep an eye on stakeholders and risks, and this dual monitoring is essential to the success of any collective operation.

Some ideas for developing this dimension with your team

Things to do

  • Use a combination of tools and methods to mature your strategic thinking, structure your information and prioritize your actions. In particular, I recommend brainstorming sessions, SWOT analyses
    SWOT (Strenghts, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analyses, risk assessment grids, event chain methodology and other statistical tools for valuing financial assets.
  • Document risks in a specific register. Specify their nature, degree of probability, possible impacts, associated weighting measures, etc. These details are usually recorded in a grid or table.
    grid or table.
  • Create a special grid for your stakeholders' level of power and interest. In the diagram below, they are divided into four categories (or quadrants) that show how you can interact with and influence them:
  • Draw up a communication plan to determine what information you will give your stakeholders and when. These announcements can be, for example: news of project progress, interim results, risks and opportunities, changes in perspective, delays. Be honest in your communication and realistic in your promises. The quality of your relationship with your partners depends on it.
  • Approach stakeholder and risk management proactively. Take regular stock. Monitoring should be one of your team's top priorities, along with following up the action plan. Don't take on this task just to ease your conscience until the next audit.

What to avoid

  • Limiting an activity to the executive cockpit. This would deprive you of the collective intelligence of your team. What's more, people might not feel sufficiently legitimized and empowered vis-à-vis their stakeholders.
  • Pseudo-improvements that amplify risks. The paths to operational efficiency and lean management are strewn with pitfalls. For example, the pursuit of excellence can, in the long term, damage processes, roles and people themselves, leaving your organization weakened, even helpless.
  • Forget what you really shouldn't do when it comes to risk management. Action is often preferable to inaction, that's for sure. Nonetheless, certain steps or activities can be intelligently omitted to reduce risk. Deliberately choosing not to act can therefore pay off.
  • Neglecting the human aspect and other psychological factors. People's attitude to risk obviously depends on their own situation, but not only that. Not everyone has the same tolerance threshold for uncertainty, for example. So don't focus too much on the mathematics of risk: you'll miss out on some of the more subtle aspects of the scenario.
  • Anticipate the future from past events. Don't make precedent a systematic rule. It's better to base your risk mitigation strategies on current evidence.

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