Have you ever heard of Harry Bosch?

I know him very well.

But he doesn’t exist.

Harry Bosch is a figment of the imagination of Michael Connelly – my favourite crime writer.  Harry has been the main man in 21 novels by Connelly.

On holidays I read one – “The Burning Room“.  And there was a description in it of how people were evaluated as witnesses:

The interviewers used a number system one through five in evaluating each person as a witness as well as the value of their information—five being the highest in each category.  Stephanie Perez was a one-one. So she was interviewed and quickly forgotten because she didn’t know anything.

You see two criteria being assessed there – how reliable the person seemed to be and how valuable their information.  And you see a scoring system.  Stephanie scored 1*1=1.  If she had been a five-five she’d have scored 5*5=25.  So witnesses can be ranked on a scale of 1 to 25.

You can use a similar system to score the risks to your business.  You can define your own criteria.  E.g., you might use two criteria commonly used in project management risk analysis – the severity of impact (if the “thing” were to actually happen) and the likelihood of occurrence (of the “thing”).

Let’s make it less abstract.  More concrete.  What’s the risk of you losing your most valuable employee?  If they were to leave the severity score might be a “5”.  What’s the likelihood though?  Are they engaged?  Are you engaging with them?  Are they getting a chance most days to do what they do best?  Are they challenged?  Do you give agree clear goals with them?  Have they the tools and other supports they need in order to be successful?  Etc.

You can go through a similar exercise with other risks.  Do the numbers.  Then rank the risks.  And pay the most attention to the risks that rank highest.

This all presumes that you see the point in monitoring the risks to your business.  But of course you do.  Right?

I use a 3rd criterion in evaluating risks – we’ll look at that in a future post.

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