NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Water Newton, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom, 2008/01/06 - A variety of business risks can be avoided, compliance costs reduced and performance increased by adopting a new generation of support tools.
Many business risks need no longer keep people awake. Pioneering companies are using a new generation of support tools to avoid a wide range of risks, according to Adaptation's Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas. Speaking at the World Congress on Total Quality he will show how risks and the burden of checking can be reduced and productivity improved.
According to Coulson-Thomas, “Traditional approaches to risk management have involved checks, reviews and approvals which increase costs and result in delays. Nervous directors who worry about being sued limit local discretion and require various matters to be referred to senior staff or head offices for approval”.
Reviews are built into business processes. Coulson-Thomas explains: “A major bid may be subjected to multiple reviews covering whether or not to bid, technical issues, and commercial and quality risks. Scheduling review meetings can greatly extend the time required to submit a proposal. Bid team members spend precious time satisfying internal hurdles than working to meet the requirements of external prospects.”
Coulson-Thomas believes: “In addition to delays and extra costs, review meetings can inhibit the entrepreneurial spirit and result in a risk averse and stagnant corporate culture. Opportunities are lost – particularly for bespoke responses to individual requirements - because directors and senior management are afraid to let go and trust their colleagues to do what they feel is right for their customers.”
Yet there are alternative approaches that Coulson-Thomas considers to be much more effective at avoiding risks: “Pioneering companies are building controls into the processes and support tools used by key workgroups. Quite simply those using the latest generation of support tools – for example to design a bespoke solution for a particular customer – cannot generate a proposal that would involve items of equipment that are not compatible or the breach of a regulatory requirement.”
Coulson-Thomas finds, “Companies are avoiding technical, commercial, regulatory and relationship risks in activities such as developing and costing bespoke solutions, drafting proposals and preparing sales literature. They are using support tools that make it very easy for important workgroups to do a difficult job. Building controls into such tools enables areas of risk to be addressed before outputs can be produced.”
Risk identification and assessment is a core element of corporate governance. Coulson-Thomas suggests: “Boards should ensure people are equipped to recognise risks and mitigate or negate their consequences. Support tools that focus upon known or likely problems can be distributed via a website or CD-ROM disc. Tool use can provide compliance evidence that risks have been identified, assessed and addressed.”
The Adaptation chairman is convinced: “Directors who are concerned to reduce risks in complex operations should explore the opportunities for building ways of avoiding risks into appropriate support tools. Bespoke tools that increase understanding of complex issues, boost the productivity of key workgroups and make it easy for people to do difficult jobs can also reduce risk, cut compliance costs and increase performance.”
Examples of how job support tools can be used to make it very easy for average performers to adopt winning ways are given in Prof. Coulson-Thomas’ book ‘Winning Companies; Winning People’ (Policy Publications, 2007).
The theme of the 18th World Congress on Total Quality which is being held in New Delhi, India is ‘boardroom strategies for managing risk’. While in India Prof. Coulson-Thomas will also be speaking to directors at the SCOPE Convention Centre in New Delhi and the Conference Room of the Bombay Stock Exchange.
Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas, an active consultant and experienced chairman of award winning companies, is the author of ‘Developing Directors’, ‘The Knowledge Entrepreneur’, ‘Developing a Corporate Learning Strategy’ and ‘Winning Companies: Winning People’. He has reviewed the processes and practices for winning business of over 100 companies, helped over 100 boards to improve board and/or corporate performance, and spoken at over 200 national, international and corporate conferences in 35 countries.