Five Conversations

We can all recall a stimulating conversation with someone that turned into a brainstorming session with a great exchange of ideas.  As the conversation continued, and the ideas built upon one another, it became quite clear as to the best course of action to take going forward.

Now imagine your management team engaged in a structured series of five conversations that ultimately allows them to make the best informed decisions that support the achievement of your organizations objectives.  Let’s have a look at what those five conversations might include.

Where do we want to go?

Value creation starts with an objective-centric conversation.  This would include clearly defining your objectives, including the desired outcomes and how they will be measured.  This may include your strategic, operational and financial objectives, and provides the focus as you progress through the remaining conversations.

What is the current environment?

Understanding the internal and external environment in which your organization seeks to achieve its objectives will identify factors that could be a source of uncertainty.  Some the elements to be discussed include: roles and accountabilities; capabilities, understood in terms of resources and knowledge; information systems; and the political, regulatory, economic and technological environment.

What could happen?

This includes asking what can go wrong as well as what can go right.  It’s all about identifying events that might create, enhance, degrade, delay or prevent the achievement of your organizations objectives based upon your current environment.

What are our priorities?

Analyzing and evaluating threats and opportunities to comprehend their nature and magnitude helps in setting priorities.  Another factor is an honest discussion about the effect and reliability of existing controls.

Take action

Decide on one or more options for implementing the best action plans to provide or modify controls that change the consequences of an event and/or the likelihood of its occurrence.  This includes identifying individuals who have the resources and competence to take ownership of the action plans.

That is why I created the Managing Uncertainty System, a structured series of five conversations you and your team engage in to ultimately make the best informed decisions that support the achievement of your organizations objectives.  And like most systematic processes, it assures consistent and reliable results.


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