Making It Stick

August - September 2008 Issue

by Diana Del Bel Belluz, M.A.Sc., P.Eng.

Is risk management alive and well in your organization? As a risk management leader, your main goal is to get people in your organization to take something that they do intuitively, but perhaps not consistently, and make it much more systematic and deliberate.This means getting the management discipline so ingrained into your people’s psyches that it becomes part of their routine behaviour and an integral part of your organization’s culture.

It’s relatively straight forward to issue policies, disseminate knowledge, and provide tools and frameworks for risk management. But it is very hard to transform the way people think and act. Getting risk management to ‘stick’ is particularly challenging because it requires taking abstract, complex concepts and making them live and breath in your organization.

Chip Heath and Dan Heath provide practical insights on how to make ideas stick in their book Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die. This book is full of useful insights for dealing with the type of emotional resistance discussed in this month’s Feature Article. The authors draw on the work of psychologists, education researchers, and political scientists, and on their own experience (Chip is a professor of organizational behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Dan is a consultant at Duke Corporate Education) to argue that great ideas are made, not born —and that you can drastically improve the stickiness of ideas [including risk management concepts] by following 6 key principles. The book focuses on 6 Key Principles of Sticky Ideas that are essential tools for all risk management leaders:

  1. Simplicity: How to strip an idea to its core without turning it into a silly sound bite.
  2. Unexpectedness: How to capture people’s attention, and hold it.
  3. Concreteness: How to help people understand your idea and remember it much later.
  4. Credibility: How to get people to believe your idea.
  5. Emotional: How to get people to care about your idea.
  6. Stories: How to get people to act on your idea.

Click to read a chapter of the book, including a brief synopsis of the 6 principles.

Follow the links to:

  • Read this month's Feature Article - Overcoming Resistance Part 2 - Why You Can't Afford to Ignore Their Feelings
  • Download a printable version of the entire August - September 2008 issue of the Risk Management Made Simple Advisory.
  • View the Article Index to access back issues of the Risk Management Made Simple Advisory.

Current Special Offers for Subscribers

The code to access the following special offer has been emailed to all Risk Management Made Simple Advisory subscribers:

  • SPECIAL INTRODUCTORY OFFER:  To entice you to 'take a bite', we are waiving the fee ($100 value) for your first Virtual Learning Bite.  (Subscribers have been sent the instructions on how to access this offer).  Not yet a subscriber?  Don't miss out, click here to sign-up for your complimentary Advisory subscription.  The Learning Bite topics for June 2019 are:
    • Italian Flag is a technique that enables you to quickly conduct an evidence-based assessment of the likelihood that a risk event will occur.  The focus on evidence helps to minimize the bias that can creep in when using more subjective methods such as the risk matrix approach which relies heavily on judgement and opinion.
    • Range Assessment is a technique that enables you to enables you to estimate a range for a variable (e.g., impact or cost of a risk event) which more realistically represents and communicates the uncertainty in the estimate than a single number would.
    • Scenario Planning Primer - Scenario planning is a powerful methodology to get to grips with the future uncertainties of the broader business environment.  The primer provides an overview of the approach illustrated by examples of scenarios and also covers how scenario planning can support decision making.
  • SPECIAL OFFER: $500 off the full program fee for Risk Management Made Simple Advisory subscribers on the Masters Certificate in Risk Management and Business Performance . The next program module to be held on September 23-26, 2019 in Toronto, ON. (Subscribers have been sent the instructions on how to access this offer).  Not yet a subscriber?  Don't miss out, click here to sign-up for your complimentary Advisory subscription.  Note:  the only change from the current listing on this are the dates.

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Diana's Pick

The Neuroscience of Enterprise Risk Management (written by Diana Del Bel Belluz of Risk Wise) expores findings from the field of neuroscience and shares practical tips on how to apply them to enhance individuals' risk management thinking and implement brain-friendly ERM practices in organizations.

The article was published by The Conference Board of Canada in the Autumn 2017 issue of the journal Risk Watch.