Monday, July 28, 2008

Risk management - developing a sense of adventure

Last week I went to a joint meeting of the West Midlands Charity Finance Directors Group and the ICAEW Charity & Voluntary Sector Group. One of the speakers outlined the tax definition of “trading”. One characteristic of “trading” was “adventure”. It struck me that this was a synonym for risk. (I expect a tax specialist to correct me!)

Adventure sounds so much more positive than risk. So often risk management is interpreted as risk minimisation. I had a colleague who loved to include in his training sessions on risk management a slide showing a man smoking and handling flammable materials. While risk management is sometimes about stopping stupid and dangerous behaviour, more often it is considering and taking, when appropriate, informed risks.

Without risk – or adventure – there is no reward. Innovation and transformation may be over-used clich├ęs, but change is vital for public services and it comes with risks that need to be taken and managed.

Anyone for adventure management?

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