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Blog: Rate of change and adaptability

The following quote applies as well to organisations as it does to species:

"It is not the strongest or most intelligent that survive. It is the most adaptable" – Charles Darwin.

Whether change is genetic (survival of the fittest) or proactive change management based on environment scanning and strategic planning, organisations that will be leading lights on our stock exchanges in 20 years’ time may not currently exist and, if they do, will look very different than they do today. Today’s organisation is not sustainable if the rate of change internally is slower than the rate of change externally. How, then do we ensure our organisations are fit for the future?

It reminds me of a joke I told as a best man many years ago of a honeymoon couple on a walking safari in an African game park. The couple see a lion in the distance and, when it starts to charge towards them, the husband starts to run away. When he sees his new wife is not with him he stops and turns around. She is putting on a pair of trainers.

‘What are you doing?’ He cries, ‘You’ll never run faster than a lion.’

‘I don’t have to run faster than the lion,’ she says, ‘all I have to do is run faster than you.’

Hopefully your risks aren’t of the ‘charging lion’ severity. Within our organisations, firstly we need to embed a proactive risk awareness throughout people, functions and processes the organisation uses internally and externally. This is not ‘risk’ in an inward looking, ‘elf ‘n’ safety’ orientation but, initially, horizon scanning (looking for your own ‘lions’) and trend identification (what is charging) to be able to better understand the environment and networks our organisations operate in with a view to identifying emerging opportunities and risks and be able to take advantage of the former and manage the latter to our best advantage.

Here at IIRSM we are working with a range of education and industry partners to develop risk qualifications for a range of professionals who need to assess and manage risk at the enterprise, function and project or process level. To book your place or for more information on our Managing Risk training course, please click here. Don't forget, there's a SPECIAL OFFER on selected Managing Risk courses - 50% off!

Please feel free to comment or share your stories (and jokes) using #iirsmrateofchange on our social media channels.

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