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Learn from mistakes of other organisations

Learn from mistakes of other organisations

Well hello, and welcome to this session.

What I’ve spoken about in the past is lessons learnt and post event analysis. When an incident occurs in our organisation we ask what happened, why did it occur, could we have done anything to prevent it from happening and lastly, is there anything we can do to stop it happening in the future? But what I want to discuss in this session is: why restrict it to just your organisation? Why not learn from the impacts and mistakes others have made?

There are some examples out there, using councils for instance; the reality is that most councils while they do have different things, most perform similar tasks around roads, rates, rubbish, design approvals, etc. So the risks can actually be similar across all of the councils.

When one council in WA has something wrong, a council in NSW, South Australia, Victoria or Queensland should be looking at that and thinking ‘How susceptible are we to exactly the same thing happening?’ If we do that then we can potentially head off the same thing happening in our organisation.

So if we look at the Canberra bush fires of 2003 and the investigations that came out of that, I will guarantee you there were many recommendations in the Royal Commission that were similar if not the same as the Canberra bush fire report. So what we see here is not only do we not learn from our own mistakes, but we have this opportunity to learn from other peoples mistakes as well. So it should become part of your lessons learnt program.

Therefore in the news, if it’s a likeminded industry, company or organisation or something happens to one of your competitors or another council, ask yourself the question, ‘could that happen to us as well?’

If the answers ‘yes’, well then you need to do a risk assessment and analyse how susceptible your organisation is to that, how strong and effective your controls are to stopping that. Use others misfortune to strengthen your approach to risk management, and in doing so, reduce the likelihood of those events happening in your organisation.

That’s all I’ve got session, and as always, let’s be careful out there.

Written by Rod Farrar

Rod is an accomplished risk consultant with extensive experience in the delivery of professional consultancy services to government, corporate and not-for-profit sectors. Rod takes every opportunity available to ensure his risk management knowledge remains at the ‘cutting edge’ of the discipline. Rod’s Risk Management expertise is highly sought after as is the insight he provides in his risk management training and workshop facilitation. Rod was recognised by the Risk Management Institution of Australia as the 2016 Risk Consultant of the Year and one of the first five Certified Chief Risk Officers in Australasia.