Business Insurance:: ISO 31000 should we believe the hype?



“…risk managers should use standards such as ISO 31000, “because standards, no matter what kind or which ones, support key tools and processes.”“Standards allow you to proactively address risks with some discipline,” he said. “Standards also relate well to the whole idea of focusing on outcomes.”

Surely the focus should be upon being proactive and ‘managing’ emergent risks, NOT outcomes!?

Where, I suspect, NASA have a distinct (informational) advantage is that the multi-scalar interactions among components, processes, networks of sub-systems and systems are each rigorously tested at every point in assembly and operation…

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Seth Godin:: Two questions behind every disagreement

There is no getting away from the fact that communication and consistency are critical but so is understanding. If all parties have the same goals [a common purpose] but the language is different, the means of communication unreliable or poorly structured*, the scope for progress is, seriously, hampered because the information-flow between individuals – interdependent components or processes – is impaired and vital signals can become confused or lost.
If the goals diverge, for whatever reason, the purpose may remain similar but the interdependence that is fundamental to a resilient enterprise, strategy or system is lost. This is how organisational silos can occur:
inter-connectedness is a less resilient state than interdependence.

*hierarchical structures  were NOT created to manage information in the Digital Age but to manage people and process in a past era.

Are we on the same team? and

What’s the right path forward?

Most of time, all we talk about is the path, without having the far more important but much more difficult conversation about agendas, goals and tone.

Is this a matter of respect? Power? Do you come out ahead if I fail? Has someone undercut you? Do we both want the same thing to happen here?

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Economic resilience for Scotland requires INTERdependence

I don’t wish to engage in or contribute to THE political debate on how the interests of our nation are best-served! No offence to Salmond or Lamont  but, rather than listen to them, I would defer to some “older wisdom”…no not Ming Campbell:

“To put the world right in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.”


Apart from cultivating greater personal understanding of how WE can contribute to a better Scottish society, our greatest challenge is how to (re)build financial resilience: create a sustainable economy and undo the damage done to our finances, our hard-earned reputation for economic thinking, innovation and business leadership. Read more of this post

Interdependence:: Seth on civilization

I am a long time admirer of Seth Godin and, yet again, he doesn’t disappoint…

We don’t need more stuff. We need more civilization. More respect and more dignity. We give up a little and get a lot.

The people who create innovations, jobs, culture and art of all forms have a choice about where and how they do these things. And over and over, they choose to do it in a society that’s civilized, surrounded by people who provide them both safety and encouragement. I’m having trouble thinking of a nation (or even a city) that failed because it invested too much in taking care of its people and in creating a educated, civil society.

via Seth’s Blog: Civilization.

But, as I am sure you will have realised – if you think at all about these things and how we might begin to resolve some of the issues that blight modern society – this is hardly original thought.

Similar messages can be traced back through literature for two thousand years and, more frequently these days, are being validated by scientific analysis of the behaviour of complex systems: the most successful and resilient systems are highly INTERDEPENDENT.

More recent references can be found in, the late, Steven Covey’s famous book, “7 Habits…” but this is what Ghandi had to say on the subject…so you know he wasn’t just another person queuing up to take a pot-shot at the 99%!:

“Interdependence is and ought to be as much the ideal of man as self-sufficiency. Man is a social being. Without interrelation with society he cannot realize his oneness with the universe or suppress his egotism. His social interdependence enables him to test his faith and to prove himself on the touchstone of reality. If man were so placed or could so place himself as to be absolutely above all dependence on his fellow beings he would become so proud and arrogant as to be a veritable burden and nuisance to the world…”

The Small, the Big and the Beautiful

I am always delighted to find out that the ramblings on my humble blog do appeal to others sufficiently that they decide to “follow” it. When I can I do try to check out their blogs for kindred spirits from whom I can learn. Sarah Denie is one such…thanks Sarah! This is a mere extract from a great, recent, article.

the key factor of all economic development comes out of the mind of man”. Our actions, transactions and interactions ultimately stem from our mental models; the way we perceive the world and ourselves within it. The darker side of this coin is that all economic destruction – whether it is a collapse of the financial system, serious damage to the worlds’ ecosystems, or the exhaustion of earth’s resources – are also fruits of the mind of man. It is our perception of separateness, from each other and from our natural environment, that has misshapen the concepts of wealth, value and wellbeing into individual rather than systemic qualities. It is for this reason that we find ourselves in a system in which economic gains are considered value-creating, even if they destroy the very source they sprung from.

This piece reminded me of words of wisdom from some of  history’s great leaders and intellectuals, from Jesus, Confucius and Ghandi to Benoit Mandelbrot and countless others who, in one way or another, tell us or have demonstrated the need to look within and at smaller scales for solutions to even the biggest problems. Such is the nature of complex [non-linear] systems where, courtesy of the “Butterfly Effect” the very small – even invisible to the naked eye – can have unpredictably large impacts.

“…in its beginning it is easy to cure, but hard to recognise; whereas, after a time, not having been detected and treated at the first, it becomes easy to recognise but impossible to cure”

– Niccolo Machiavelli


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