We’re all aware that risk is everywhere around us in both our personal and working lives. But the impact that poor management of this can have is enormous and often underplayed. The Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the 2008 financial crisis and the Santiago De Compostela rail crash are all consequences of poor risk-based decision making.  Here at a&dc we’ve built up expertise in highlighting the crucial role that risk intelligent decision making plays in generating wealth and protecting the safety of both organisations and individuals.

The benefits of embedding real behavioural change are enormous in both financial and reputational terms. But it’s not as easy as simply telling your leadership team to be more aware of this issue. Developing a pattern of behavioural risk management in these individuals requires the analysis and evaluation of a number of different facets, so that this can then trickle down to the rest of the organisation.

Firstly, the context in which the business works must be considered. The nature of risk for an investment bank will be vastly different to that of an airline.  This is crucial to the development of risk based decision making as individuals and organisations consistently underestimate the risk they are taking. By providing context we can define and quantify risk at an organisational and personal level – looking at both probability and impact.

Personality plays the most important part in behavioural risk management and constitutes our biggest asset and liability.  By defining an individual’s personality type you can better understand how they search for different information, make decisions and communicate in different ways. Often, accidents and disasters are caused by different personality types reacting in a specific way to the environment and situation around them. By knowing the personalities of individuals we can better understand their likelihood of making certain behavioural risk-based decisions. This also highlights the importance of personal development and selecting a blend of personalities in leadership teams. By doing so businesses can create a balance that can better enable them to make effective decisions.

Physiology also has a part to play in risk intelligence. The relationship between sleep, diet, exercise and performance is very close-knit and one that people often take for granted. Without having enough sleep, the correct diet or enough exercise, a person’s ability to be alert to cues and make the correct decision can be drastically reduced.

So what are the advantages of developing behavioural risk management in your leaders? For one thing, they can include increased individual and company performance, reduced incidents and as a result, reduced liability. Our behavioural solutions working alongside an oil and gas company, for example, has improved safety behaviour by 64% and made a £9m contribution in the North Sea alone. And a construction client has just gone 35 million hours without a serious injury.

Do you value the importance of embedding real behavioural change in your leaders? Let us know by commenting below.

To find out more information about how to manage risk why not attend our FREE seminar on-board HMS Belfast on May 1st. For more information and to register your interest click HERE.