It was a Thursday noon. I took the Queen Victoria Building exit after alighting from a train at Town hall station. A turn from Druitt Street and I found myself walking on York Street searching for a ‘Club York’. I was early and could afford to walk into the wrong building however I remember the door number to be 95-99. I walked past another intersection and there it was. Ensuring that the mask was in place, and that I had the printout of International COVID-19 certificate with the QR code on it in hand anticipating its collection at the entrance, I followed a small group blindly. I found myself standing behind them and staring at two lifts one on each side of the corridor that abruptly came to a dead end or so it seemed. I retraced my path to the entrance I had missed like the others, scanned the Club York’s QR code using my mobile phone and the club’s Wi-Fi to inform Services NSW about my whereabouts or to give attendance for the day. In a few strides I found the lift to my left to reach the level where I was destined to attend four hours of professional development in records and information management. After ascertaining that I was in the right place, I hit the toilets as was the mandatory requirement of the body after more than an hour’s travel. Ignoring the hunger pangs initiated by club sandwiches and beverages laid out at the entrance, I entered the conference room. I found a convenient spot, made myself comfortable and indulged in a tête-à-tête. I did not have to wait long to dig into those sandwiches and have some coffee.
If my readers are wondering about the point, I am trying to make I am going to get to it without beating about the bush. All the presenters were impressive, and their presentations were content packed and relevant to different types of business services, however there was one that I found intensely meaningful because of my experiences at workplace. If you think I am going to complain about innumerable things under the sky, you are mistaken. When I heard the presenter Lisa Sisson talk about her book ‘Risk Starts and Ends with People,’ I felt that my perception of how I should be treated at workplace was not erroneous. I was not crazy for entertaining those views except that I did not have the eloquence or the metalanguage to put it across to the people who became risks to me through their actions, behaviour, and choices.
The crux of the session goes like this. People who are at the center of all risks in this people centric world must work together to resolve risk-related issues instead of becoming risks to each other. Effective risk management strategies cannot be implemented without finding about the well-being of the team as employees could easily transition from being engaged to disengaged. While senior management or executives have the power to execute the risk management strategies, it is important that they empower staff to fulfill the obligations associated with the role so that they feel motivated to perform with efficacy. The presenter then proceeded with the need for team leaders or the project leaders to understand the personality of their team members, what stresses them and how it contributes to their distress and how it changes their behaviour influencing them to act out and eventually quit. Risk management is a process which does not include dismissing the views of staff or making them feel unheard or unvaluable. The presenter concluded the session by emphasizing on the need to look at risk management differently, which is risk is a pathway to opportunity and transformation, as people are the greatest risk management assets.
I am looking forward to reading this book and I think there are many institutions or organizations that could benefit from smart thinking advocated by the book