Honoring our Veterans–Individually

Honoring our Veterans–Individually

11-11-19

As we honor our veterans today, I am so pleased to invite Colonel David Sutherland, Chairman of Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services, to be my guest blogger. His experiences and voice are so important for us all to hear.

Diversity and inclusion frequently take a one-size-fits-all approach. For example, recruiting and retention may focus on veterans, as a whole, rather than the divergent qualities that enhance thinking and execution. 

 It’s ironic that lumping veterans together as a category defined as “diverse” may cause us to ignore the individual characteristics that make them assets to organizations.

 I like to say that if you’ve met a veteran, you’ve met “a veteran.” One veteran, one time, each one is unique.

 We veterans are more than just the sum of our parts. Yes, Veterans Day is a celebration of an amazing group of people. At the same time, we are remiss in not looking beyond the massed surface and into each one’s experiences and goals.

 My wish is for you to get to know us as a unique group of people who have taken a different path to get to this point in our lives, and who may have hit roadblocks on this journey created by their service to our country. Let’s start with three areas key to ensuring that veterans succeed where they live: 

      • Working with purpose. Those who served in uniform boast years of specialized training that make them experts in their fields, yet there remains significant underemployment and uncertainty. That’s why Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services works with employers, hiring managers, and recruiters to improve workplace hiring programs. This work goes beyond employment programs for veterans as a whole and instead seeks to establish a culture that considers the specific skill sets of each veteran and matches them to the position best for them.
      • Healing with honor. Let’s look at the data. Burn pits, enormous craters where waste is openly incinerated, are this generation’s Agent Orange. These chemical hazards are responsible for causing cancers, tumors and respiratory issues. Opioid abuse among combat-exposed individuals is 7 percentage points higher among those who deployed but didn’t see combat. Further, the number of veteran suicides exceeded 6,000 each year from 2008 – 2017 – or more than 60,000 over a decade. Part of what drives these numbers is an epidemic of disconnection that happens when we look at veterans en masse rather than creating a culture that considers the unique needs and isolation of each individual. It’s about making it personal – for both the veteran and the civilian.
      • Living with hope. T.S. Elliot said, “Home is where our story begins.” Dixon Center and its partners, among them Soldier On and Freddie Mac, are working to expand affordable housing, educate community-based organizations on fair housing practices for veterans, and increase compassionate outreach to those who are, or are at risk of becoming homeless. The goal is not to create new programs. Rather, the goal is to enable the integration of housing services that consider each veteran’s needs into existing programs to increase impact.

 This Veterans Day let’s keep in mind that as with people, one size does not fit all. In fact, one size often fits none.

Retired U.S. Army Colonel David Sutherland is Chairman of Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services. He commanded the U.S. combat brigade in Diyala Province, Iraq (2006-2007) and served as Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (2009-2012).

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Thought Leadership

Thought Leadership

Flat line design website banner of education, learning process, brainstorming, generation of knowledge. Modern vector illustration for web design, marketing and print material.

In the age of social media, when anyone with many Friends or a large Twitter following can be considered a thought leader, we need to step back and consider exactly what thought leadership is in the non-profit world, and why it so important for us to develop it to our best advantage. Thought leadership is a way for a brand to position itself as a leader in its field or sector by demonstrating its values, its expertise, and sharing its thinking about the future.

Michael Brenner, recognized as a top marketing influencer by Forbes and by Huffington Post as a top business keynote speaker, believes “thought leadership means you provide the best and deepest answers to your customers’ biggest questions in the formats your audience likes to consume.” To Brenner “authentic thought leadership remains a driving force in successful companies across almost every industry.”

In Business News Daily, Skye Schooley, writing to define thought leadership and why it matters, adds “As a notable expert in a specific company, industry, or society, a thought leader is someone who offers guidance and insight to those around them. In other words, a thought leader has a positive reputation of helping others with their knowledge and insight.”

As Caroline Avakian points out in the Jewish Philanthropy blog: “Thought leadership is not just a PR function. It requires that we have an idea–something to make the world a better place, something that will solve a problem or improve a process.”  Organizations can be treasure troves of excellent ideas waiting to be unleashed and shared with the world. These organizations can succeed with limited resources and small or non-existent communications and marketing teams that are allocated to drumming up support in an overcrowded charity marketplace. 

An organization’s energy is sometimes focused on elevating a single member of its team to thought leadership status, usually someone high in the hierarchy like the executive director. At The Fedcap Group, conversely, we are totally committed to populating our organization with thought leaders who serve as a collective asset. When we foster a culture of deep learning and train staff in our core philosophy and values, we will develop more ways for thought leadership to become embedded in the DNA of the agency.  We recognize that thought leadership can come from any source – executives, customers, product managers, designers, customer service reps, and sales people. We all have knowledge, experience and a point of view. As it permeates the organization, it organically spreads to the community.

Avakian notes, “Thought leadership is arguably the most effective and least expensive way an organization can build awareness, support for ideas, and influence the communities it needs to reach, including decision makers, policy makers and donors.”

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Finding The Best Talent In A Highly Competitive Environment

Finding The Best Talent In A Highly Competitive Environment

Job interview. Recruitment Hand.

According to Roy Mauer in a blog for Society of HR Management, “Nonprofits should emulate corporate recruiting to compete for talent. Yet, 64% of nonprofits do not have a formal recruitment or retention strategy.”

Profit making companies can spend vast sums to bring top talent into their organizations, but what about organizations with limited funds that must compete for the same talent?    

I believe it is our culture that drives people through our doors. 

Jason Walker, Director of Talent Acquisition at Habitat for Humanity International, believes that a workplace culture that engages top talent requires a well-structured, strategic hiring plan closely tied to the agency’s mission. “In support of our mission,” he states, “we act intentionally to attract talent that has both the values and skills to expand Habitat’s impact and the way we address housing needs.’

The struggle is to know what you need and why you need it, then accept nothing less.   This resonates with me.  I have found that it is MUCH more costly and stressful to an organization to hire the wrong person because we are in a hurry to fill the slot, than it is to wait and find the right person. 

Candance Ho from Whole Whale recommends that, after defining the talent required, an organization create a scorecard that lists all the attributes that it is looking for in an employee, and why those attributes are needed for that position.  Whole Whale’s talent scorecard’s attributes include “efficiency, empathy, analytics, curiosity and a positive outlook.”   At The Fedcap Group we use terms such as: 

    • Passionate: They are driven to create/identify and resource the most effective ways to solve problems for people with barriers.
    • Informed: They are current within their respective fields.
    • Credible: When they speak, people listen because of their depth of knowledge and expertise.
    • Smart and Fast: They can see the end result and take quick, thoughtful and decisive action.
    • Creative: They generate innovative and often unexpected answers to difficult problems.
    • Curious: They thrive on new information and opportunities.
    • Dedicated: They run a continuous campaign to advance the position of The Fedcap Group and the people we serve.
    • Understand the concept of “Good to Great”: They constantly look for opportunities to improve the work of The Fedcap Group, searching for best-in-class practices, but not reinventing the wheel.
    • Flexible: They are able and willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done.
    • Fun: They take their work seriously, but not themselves.

Nonprofits also need to find candidates who care about their mission.  Do they understand what we do?  Can they describe it?  Did they care enough to do the research? 

Critical to finding the right candidate is having the right job description that makes people want to work for our organization.   Recruitment at its core is marketing, and it is smart to engage a marketing firm to review the language in job descriptions. According to Nonprofit HR, the Corporate Leadership Council found that a well-executed EVP (employee value proposition) is invaluable in ensuring that job descriptions stand out.  A good EVP is a simple, focused statement of why someone would want to work in your organization, and according to Nonprofit HR, it can improve the commitment of new hires by 29%.   It can also solidify the organization’s brand and guide its recruitment strategy. “To create an EVP, compile data from employee engagement, onboarding and exit surveys. Identify key trends from among those three types of interactions. This may include information on benefits your employees value, elements of the workplace culture that help them succeed or simply why they enjoy working for the organization.”

We can compete with the for-profit environment—we must leverage our mission, have a smart strategy and tell the story of what we do in a compelling way. 

I welcome your thoughts.

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The Urgency of Effectively Managing Reputational Risk

The Urgency of Effectively Managing Reputational Risk

10-21-19

Reputational risk is now the number one concern according to a survey reported by Bruna Martinuzzi in a 2018 American Express blog. We see almost daily in the media, how easily a company’s reputation can be ruined—this is a growing danger we face.

Fortunately, there are many ways to protect our reputations, but we need to develop a solid approach to management of that risk. Reputation is “the emotional bond between a company and its stakeholders,” according to Melanie LoBue in her blog at reputationinstitute.com. Reputational risk can threaten the life and longevity of our organization, increase risks to the likelihood of negative events and public opinion, and impact income, as well as public image.

Just as we have smoke detectors to detect a potential fire, we need a similar detector for reputational risk, suggests Carrie Minnich in her blog from the CPA Center of Excellence. At the speed of sound or a simple click, an organization’s reputation can be devastated. For non-profits, the impact on reputation may be even more devastating. As Minnich points out, a hit to a reputation can result in loss of volunteers, lack of referrals, decrease in the win rate of proposals, and create difficulty in hiring and attracting top quality board and staff. She suggests as a starting point periodically “googling your organization to see what others are saying.” It is imperative that we are aware of what the public sees so that we can aggressively correct inaccuracies and mis-information. We also need to monitor third party websites such as GuideStar, the National Center for Charitable Statistics, and the Better Business Bureau to verify that their information about us is accurate and thorough. It is helpful to create forums for board members, staff, consumers and our community partners to tell us what they are hearing about our organization.

Possibly most important, we need to develop a culture and organizational values that drive how employees comport themselves: a culture where staff at all levels of the organization hold one another accountable for ethical behavior, creating an environment of “see something, say something.”

We must own our reputation and actively pursue strategies to communicate who we are to the broader stakeholder community. This requires development of a communication and social media strategy that is smart, conveys our message, and is consistently pushed out over a long period of time. And, we have to live up to this message.

According to Nonprofit Accounting Basics, a growing number of organizations are appointing individuals or creating executive-level committees to lead risk management endeavors. At The Fedcap Group we have not centralized this function, but have actively communicated the importance of risk management –including reputational risk—being the job of every employee. It is a topic of significant importance to executives across The Fedcap Group and discussed during every Corporate Week. We also have an agency-wide Brown Bag Lunch on this topic that I lead annually. It is a major component of our Leadership Academy and our Executive Institute. It permeates the conversations of our organization.

This threat is real. A 2016 investigation by The Washington Post found that over a four-year period, more than 1,000 major US nonprofits disclosed in federal filings that they had suffered a “significant diversion” of assets from internal wrongdoing.”

As Warren Buffet once said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that you’ll do things differently.”

I welcome your thoughts.

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Employee Engagement – The Heart of Corporate Health

Employee Engagement – The Heart of Corporate Health

10-14-19

What is it that keeps employees engaged and committed to working in and contributing to the growth and strength of an organization?  While we all want the obvious job enticements, such as a pleasant environment, good salary, benefits, and challenging work, most of us are driven by something deeper— a sense of purpose, of making a difference. “When people understand the impact of their efforts, it makes the work much more meaningful and it keeps people engaged,” writes Ben Travis, describing eight influential employee engagement trends for 2019.  Travis, the marketing manager of  Bonusly (https://bonus.ly) an organization founded in in 2012 to help companies foster supportive environments and shared purpose, described employee engagement as “one of the most important differentiators for organizations in 2019, and it’s an issue that nearly every organizational leader has thought about recently.” The goal is to create a culture where employees develop an emotional commitment to their role, their organization, and the people impacted by their work resulting in strong employee retention and productivity.  

Now for the bad news. “Nonprofits trail nearly every other sector in (employee) engagement,” reports Sean Norris in his blog at NonProfit PRO. We come in third behind healthcare and public administration, according to a 2011 survey of non-profit organizations, such as American Cancer Society, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and others, conducted by Opportunity Knocks.  Employees who work in human service nonprofits are often paid less than the private marketplace and deal with clients who are in difficult situations.  They suffer burnout or disengagement and, ultimately, they have higher rates of turnover.

So what can we do about this?  Lindsay Crossland in a 2018 article entitled Five Ways Nonprofits Can Increase Employee Engagement published in Forbes Nonprofit Council suggests that one of the most effective ways is to make individuals more aware of how important they are.  “Show the database manager how she’s helping shelter people at night. Help the accounting clerk realize how he’s making it possible for disadvantaged children to go to college.  Make sure that the receptionist hears the stories of people whose lives are changed because of the work we do.  Without the full workforce behind the cause, there would be no staff to administer programs and no money to fund the opportunities.”

Getting our staff engaged is not simply about employee satisfaction. True employee engagement rarely just happens. It takes a group of dedicated leaders to ensure the engagement of staff.   It takes over the top communication–making sure that the employees are informed and excited about our mission.   As Crossland points out, “If you can get the people behind the scenes as engaged in sharing your story as your fundraising team, think about the possibilities that would create not only for brand awareness, but job satisfaction.”

In her social impact blog, Suzanne Smith claims that “one of the biggest drivers of recruitment to the social sector is passion for the work, but the biggest driver of retention is enjoyment. Employees want to know what they do makes a difference to your clients and communities.  They need to feel a sense of purpose.”

As Ben Travis points out, “Employee recognition is the open acknowledgement and expressed appreciation for an employee’s contributions to their organization, and it’s one of the fastest-growing trends related to employee engagement.”

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Leveraging Technology To Enhance Your Connection with Staff

Leveraging Technology To Enhance Your Connection with Staff

10-07-19

In The World is Flat, written by economist and New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman more than a decade ago, he describes how the world has become flat now that instantaneous communication around the globe is possible. I think we would all agree.

Meetings were once held in board rooms with blackboards and coffee and Danish. And while we still have meetings in actual rooms with people around us, most meetings are now virtual. Videoconferencing is efficient and inexpensive, which makes it possible for us to hear and see colleagues anywhere in the world. We share documents in the cloud, basecamp, dropbox and more. We communicate across the globe with ease.

There’s no end to the changes we’ll see either since technology continues to rapidly evolve. While technology has fundamentally changed how we communicate, technology sometimes moves faster than our ability to adapt. Business consultant Mila Jones in her March 2019 blog readwrite discussed how enhanced technology has changed the nature of business and warns that “What AI already knows isn’t something that universities can predict, as such they can’t make sure that its graduates have all the skills and knowledge necessary. Instead, you’ll need to create your own training programs.” This is good advice.

At The Fedcap Group we work hard to ensure that staff are increasingly skilled in “all things tech”. Technology is foundational to our regular “what’s next” planning sessions. Technology is the backbone of our management of our financial, physical plant and human resources. Yet as we adapt and integrate the latest technology, we work hard to remember that we are not robots, and that no matter how sophisticated the technology, we are still all part of the human family. Because we are an international company, we use Zoom, Skype, Teams and other platforms to stay connected and at the same time, we hold what we call “Corporate Weeks” twice annually where leaders from across our growing footprint come together to share ideas and connect at a personal level.
Both strategies are important.

German blogger Monique Zander offers some tips for optimizing business communication in her blog 99designs. Among others, she suggests finding a way to use technology to our real advantage; use secure cloud storage solutions to make it easy to share data and documents with colleagues all over the world, pay attention to all the modern communication solutions that are arriving on the market now (including tailored apps for employee training), new and improved project management software, smart document management solutions, increasingly sophisticated chat rooms that encourage innovation and idea sharing, interactive dashboards that allow staff to engage in performance data…and so many more.

Technology, like so many things in life, provides significant opportunities and risks. Our jobs as leaders is to stay connected to our people—technology offers remarkable vehicles for doing just that.

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Structure in Service to Innovation

Structure in Service to Innovation

A Google search of “the importance of innovation” will turn up more than one hundred million hits related to business.

“While centralized authority was the driving force of business in the 20th Century, brainstorming, innovation and lower level decision making characterize emerging companies of the new century,” writes Alex Cooper, in “Innovative Organizational Structure” at SmallBusiness.com. He points out that organizational structure must be intentionally designed to generate innovation from teams and individuals. Mike Sicard, CEO of USI emphasizes the importance of structure serving as a vehicle to advance strategy. He emphasizes that a good structure accelerates what you are trying to accomplish as opposed to serving as a barrier.

Kristi Hedges, contributor to Women at Forbes.com tells of a leader who “kept a plaque on his wall of everyone who had tried and failed—spectacularly—in the pursuit of an audacious goal.” Every executive saw the names when he or she interviewed for the job, and each time they came into the leader’s office. The tone was clear: we value risk taking and reward it as we seek to innovate.

It’s widely known that innovative companies are more creative, collaborative and productive. We also know that innovative companies achieve sustainable growth, renewed competitive advantages and ongoing customer relevance. In other words, they make a more substantive impact. The challenge to leaders is structuring the organization to tap these traits within staff.

The structure of The Fedcap Group has been intentionally designed to advance innovation resulting in sustainability, relevance and impact. In 25, 50, 100 years from now, we expect to be continuing to provide smart interventions that make a lasting difference in people’s lives.

      • We have developed four major areas of practice: Workforce Development, Education, occupational Health and Economic Development—each led by experts allowing us to influence state and federal policy and program design.
      • We have developed a growing body of expertise and accompanying evidence-based interventions in improving the outcomes for specific populations including the justice involved, children ages 0-6, youth transitioning from foster care, adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities and individuals on public assistance. This allows us to focus our efforts on building effective program interventions that meet specific needs.
      • We have combined with a growing number of top-tier mission-driven organizations. These companies engage the practice area and population expertise to design new programs and expand services, impact and diversify revenue streams.
      • We have built an array of corporate services with state-of-the-art technology in the areas of Finance, HR, IT and Facilities with the capacity to support companies in their growth and impact efforts.

And to ensure we effectively leverage this structure to design models of service that can create lasting impact, we have implemented a “Cube” approach to program innovation and business development supported by a robust technological platform. The platform manages information related to each opportunity from lead through cash in the door and creates consistency in business development processes.

With this Cube approach, practice leaders, company executives, population experts and corporate services staff come together to create responses to requests for proposals from government funders, to design models of intervention to test with foundations and to prepare bids for managed care organizations. Each piece of the cube works synergistically to accomplish the goal—a winning proposal/bid.

Through the cube we are building a culture where everyone is responsible for innovation and everyone is responsible to help design an approach that has the potential to fundamentally improve outcomes for individuals we serve.

I welcome your thoughts.

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Combining Forces to Advance Our Mission

Combining Forces to Advance Our Mission

09-23-19

Some years back, Chicago’s Boys Club and Girls Club combined their resources to form the Chicago Boys and Girls Club by working together as a way to better provide for the city’s young people. In an article “Nonprofit Mergers that Work” in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Donald Haider, director of the Center for Nonprofit Management at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, described how organizations devoted to literacy merged in Chicago to benefit more public school children. These are a few examples of the many combinations in the nonprofit sector occurring across the country.

“In recent years, there has been an increase in mergers, asset transfers, and affiliations involving nonprofit organizations,” Willard L. Boyd III wrote in a publication of the American Bar Association. These “business combinations” have been necessary in an environment that has become more challenging for nonprofits to obtain financial support in the form of public and private funding and contributions.” Boyd pointed out that the considerations to be taken before such a step are similar to those of profit-making mergers, “including synergies, cost savings and other efficiencies to be obtained through the combination, work force issues and board composition.”

Haider’s article points out how the same principle, to combine and streamline operations, can provide better outcomes for clients. While many nonprofits have worked together informally, there are important differences to be addressed when considering a permanent combination.

The Fedcap Group is a parent company of 19 companies. In 2010, as part of our Strategic Plan, we made the decision to grow through the organic expansion of existing services and through combinations with other mission driven nonprofits. The Fedcap Group offers a growth platform for its companies to expand within our four major areas of practice: Education, Occupational Health, Economic Development and Workforce Development.

Through our nearly decade of experience in mergers and acquisitions, we have learned that there are many considerations when considering a combination—here are just a few to explore:

      • Are the missions of the two entities closely aligned?
      • Does the combination advance the goals of each entity?
      • How well will the cultures of the companies integrate?
      • When combined, do the programs of each company amply the work of the other?
      • Is there talent to be leveraged across the combined entities? If so, how
      • Will combining corporate services (IT, Finance, HR) result in better efficiency and cost savings across the combined entities?
      • What are the facility/long term lease considerations?
      • Will there be staff layoffs? Because there is a legitimate condition called “merger fear”, leaders must consider if there will be staff cuts and, if so, how this will be addressed.

Brand Management is also of significant importance in the combination process. At The Fedcap Group we are committed to increasing the brand profile of every company with which we combine. By working collectively to raise the profile of each company of The Fedcap Group, we believe we enhance the sustainability, relevance and impact of each company.

Combining organizations with aligned missions advances the goals of each organization. At the Fedcap Group we really do believe we are better together.

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LEADING IN A TIME OF UPHEAVAL: The Importance of Upholding Core Values

LEADING IN A TIME OF UPHEAVAL: The Importance of Upholding Core Values

09-16-19

TWEET THIS! Bob Zukis advised in his Forbes blog on leadership strategy a few months ago: “We’re at the early stages of the industrial revolutions’ fourth transition period, the Fourth Resurgence.” Zukis, the CEO of Digital Directors Network and professor at the USC Marshall School of Business, wrote, “Each of its preceding three stages have created drastic changes in business that have also manifested throughout society.”

While the advance of technology has given us new tools with which to work, global warming, shifts in government priorities, displacement of large populations and the rise of populism is creating upheaval. Whether public, non-profit or corporate, today’s leaders must have a combination of skills to cope with an unpredictable future.

“The unexpected is becoming the norm,” claimed Margaret Heffernan, PhD, author, TV producer and business executive, in a recent TED Talk addressing the changing times. She said that today “we can predict our future only 400 days out because systems change so fast.” This has turned strategic planning on its heels.   “We now need a “just in case” planning, which means we will need to spend more time focusing on the future, ensuring we have the solution for whatever may develop. “We need more options—whether we will use them or not.” As an example, she discussed how scientists are developing medications for diseases that may not occur, but if they do, we are prepared. 

In our 2015-2020 Strategic Plan, The Fedcap Group highlighted the importance of this kind of thinking.  The slide below depicts our approach to planning and emphasizes the need for continuous innovation:

We need to lead by understanding the forces at work and find ways to align them with our mission—all the while seeking to benefit the many, not the few and delivering short term action and long-term value. 

All of this work must be accomplished within the context of human values. 

Because of the nature of rapid change, it is all the more important we remain closely attune with our employees, our consumers, our supply chain and our donors. Rapid change can create tension and uncertainty. It can drive divisions. It is up to leaders to navigate these uncharted waters with transparency—and a willingness to embrace market uncertainty with a calm conviction that “we are as prepared as we can be.”
And in fact, we need to be prepared.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/bobzukis/2019/02/28/why-business-4-0-is-driving-social-media-and-industry-upheaval/#59793abd34c4

https://www.ted.com/talks/margaret_heffernan_the_human_skills_we_need_in_an_unpredicatable_world?_language=en

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From Risk Management to Risk Leadership

From Risk Management to Risk Leadership

09-09-19 - Risk Leadership

Almost daily we hear of new cyber security lapses, which are increasingly dangerous in our digital age and may affect all aspects of our operations from finances to employee records.  For this reason, it is imperative “to embrace risk leadership rather than just risk management,” said David O. Renz, in an article in Nonprofit Quarterly. Renz is the director of the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership at the Department of Public Affairs in the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

At an Institute of Risk Management (IRM) seminar this past June, various experts met to discuss just how “the role of the Chief Information Security Officer is evolving.” According to IRM, “risk management involves understanding, analyzing, and addressing risk to make sure organizations achieve their objectives.  It must be proportionate to the complexity and type of organization involved.”  They also point out that “risk is inherent in everything we do,” so the type of roles undertaken by risk professionals are incredibly diverse. They include insurance, business continuity, health and safety, corporate governance, engineering, planning and financial services.”  In other words, all aspects of our operations.

At The Fedcap Group we schedule regular, in-depth discussions about risk working to fully understand the nature and make up of our organizations’ risk profile.  Every discussion is intended to raise awareness and sensitivity to the potential risks in all areas of operations.  We have even devoted an entire module or our Leadership Academy to the concept of Risk Management with board members serving as guest faculty.

Our staff is the first line of defense, so risk awareness training means that with their daily dilligence, they are helping to protect the entire operation.  Our mantra has become “If you see something, do something or say something!”  Just as every person within the organization is a leader—every person plays a pivotal role in understanding and managing risk. 

MITRE CORP has developed a detailed risk management plan of “21 Musts” including a management culture that must encourage and reward identifying risk by staff at all levels of program contribution that I found very helpful.  (See link below).  In it the authors stress, and I agree, that risk considerations must be a central focus of program reviews, risk management must never be outsourced, and technology maturity and its future readiness must be understood.

As pointed out by David Renz, “delay or failure in responding to risk, positions an organization for an even riskier course.”

mitre.org/publications/systems-engineering-guide/acquisiton-systems-engineering/risk-management/risk-management-approach-and-plan

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