Risk Enchantment, The Holy Grail of Risk

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Risk enchantment. Every organisation and business needs a wizard working for them to achieve the holy grail of risk management. Or do they?

As we move closer towards the newest Peter Jackson instalment of Lord of the Rings, being The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey, we were reminded of a book we read a few months ago that provided us inspiration as Risk Managers. The book was called Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions by Guy Kawasaki.

For many years now Risk Managers across the globe have been fighting.  Battling their way to try and reach the hearts and minds of the businesses they support.

Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions provides some fantastic thoughts and ideas that every Risk Manager should note and utilise in their daily actions and words.

For instance, Guy quotes John Maynard Keynes who said “The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones, which ramify, for those brought up as most of us have been, into every corner of our minds.” A particular focus point for Risk Managers needs to be focused on escaping the old ideas and ways of talking about risk, and presenting it in a fresh and unique way.  This does not mean making risk management weak or timid in its words or actions, but rather in presenting a strong, passionate and proud perspective on risk for everyone to see and hear.  Risk Managers need to challenge themselves to think differently about their roles, reinvent their messages and take risk management to the next century, not the last!

Guy details that “I define enchantment as the process of delighting people with a product, service, organization, or idea. The outcome of enchantment is voluntary and long-lasting support that is mutually beneficial.”

Now, let’s change some of those words.

I define risk enchantment as the process of delighting people with risk management. The outcome of risk enchantment is voluntary and long-lasting support that is mutually beneficial.”.  

How powerful a statement is that?  And now imagine working for an organisation where the CEO talks about risk management like this!

Enchantment is not just a book for people in sales or external customer facing roles.  It is a book for everyone that has to present a message, service or product and wants it to be heard and be used in actions.

We would like to wrap up this posting on Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions with our top 10 quotes that resonated with us from a risk management perspective.  However we encourage you to read the book for yourselves and find your own Risk Enchantment.

10. “See life for what it can be rather than what it can’t.”

9. “When you enchant people, your goal is not to make money from them or to get them to do what you want, but to fill them with great delight.”

8. “Four factors create a good one: your smile, your dress, your handshake, and your vocabulary.”

7. “Instead of thinking you have the answer and trying to implement it, you should shut up, back off, and find bright spots that are already working. The goal is to catalyze change, not get your own way.”

6. “The presence of a community that complements a cause fosters endurance. Let’s call this community an ‘ecosystem.'”

5. “Make It Short, Simple, and Swallowable”

4. “People make poor decisions because they think about the past (“I should have …”) and the near future (“It sure would be fun to …”), but not the future.”

3. “If you want people to trust you, show up physically and virtually.”

2. “Engage fast. When people contact you, respond fast. Fast, in 2011, means in less than a day.”

1. “Words are the facial expressions of your mind”


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Scott North has extensive experience in enterprise risk management, internal audit, operational risk and compliance, risk strategy, scenario planning, technology risk, technology business analysis, systems design, financial accounting, and management accounting. Scott is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Chartered Accountants with a Masters Degree from the University of Melbourne in Business and Information Technology. Scott is also a Fellow of the University of Melbourne.