March 2013 Bar Bulletin
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March 2013 Bar Bulletin

Law Library

Basic Risk Management Principles

By Rita Dermody


I recently attended a seminar conducted by Gordon Graham, where risk management was the core of his discussion of personnel management. Graham specializes in organization and operational risk management and is an attorney, former policeman and consultant. Here is a distillation of some of the major points that he made.

Many times people wait for an incident or major disaster to occur before evaluating their policies and procedures to see if and how the incident or disaster could have been prevented. By waiting for an event to occur, you spend a lot of time and money trying to correct the problem.

Graham suggests that good risk managers look at the existing work environment and ask if they have problems lying in wait in their infrastructure or among their personnel. By spending a little time and money up front, you save yourself a lot of time and money if a problem occurs.

Some of the steps he recommends include: hire good people; continually improve how you do business; let supervisors be supervisors and back up their decisions; provide constant training; audit and inspect policies and procedures to identify problems; and be willing to learn from mistakes and implement changes. Applying these principles to your workplace may save you headaches, time and money in the long run.


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