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Risk Management: Can You Save Your Organization?

Leadership Blog

My leadership blog is all about helping current and emerging leaders learn how to transform difficult conversations and dysfunctional workplace relationships into positive and productive ones.

Brie Barker

Risk Management: Can You Save Your Organization?

by | Leadership


/
At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, I had a truly life-changing experience this past weekend.

/

And it was only when I was thinking about what to write about in this week’s blog post that I came to see how it relates to leadership.
/
And what was this profound experience about?

/

Plastic.

/
Not what you were expecting?  Well, me neither.
/
So I’m going to lay this out under three headings:

/

The Backstory

What I Experienced

How it Relates to Leadership

/


/

The Backstory

/
Our household participates in our city’s recycling program.  By North American standards, it’s pretty typical:
/
Recycling Bins
Green Bin  ==> organics (mostly food scraps)
Black Bin  ==>  paper (newspapers, cereal boxes, etc.)
Blue Bin  ==>  glass, metal and plastic (jars, cans, containers, etc.)
/
We’ve always been fairly diligent about it and our actions left us feeling like we were doing our small part in being environmentally responsible.

/


/

What I Experienced

/
Then, last Friday night, Jen and I watched a documentary on Netflix:

/

A Plastic Ocean

/
I found the film to be highly sobering and disturbing.
/
I’m not going to get into all the details of the film here, but what I will share with you is what you need to know in order to see how this relates to leadership.
/
The Plastic Pollution Coalition provides a summary and links to the scientific research regarding all the reasons why plastic is harmful.
/
For my purposes, here’s what I want to highlight:

/

Plastic is poisoning our food chain to an extent that is rapidly increasing — we are all ingesting more and more plastic through our everyday diets.

====

We got to this point due to our unchecked, habitual use of plastic.

====

Ultimately, if this continues, this could be the thing that wipes out the human race.

/

Whoa!

“Did you just say that, Brie?”

/
Well, I imagine your reaction to my bold statement is somewhere between two extremes:
/
“Brie, this is 100% idiotic.”
—————————————–  
“Brie, this is 100% true.”
/
And all this might prompt you to investigate this issue for yourself —
or it might not.
/
That’s not the point of this blog post.

/


/

How This Relates to Leadership:  Risk Management

/
As a leader, here’s what you need to ask yourself and the people you work with:

/

“Are there any habitual practices within our organization that are causing a slow accumulation of overlooked consequences that:

/

a)  are eating away at the health of our organization, and/or

/

b)  upon reaching a critical mass, could cause a tipping point that spells the death of our organization?”

/
If you discover such a threat, you can then work to eliminate the habitual practices at the root of it.
/
Changing habits, be they personal or organizational, is hard.
/
Even when you make a firm commitment, devise a plan and put it into action, expect to have setbacks.
/
Just keep your eye on the end goal and keep at it.
/
This is what Jen, our two kids and I are keeping in mind as we work towards our family’s new goal — to eliminate plastics from our lives.
/
We know this won’t be easy.  We know we will have setbacks.  But we’re going to keep at it.
/
Have a productive and enjoyable day!
/
— Brie
/

Blog Post

Risk Management: Can You Save Your Organization?

by | Leadership


/
At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, I had a truly life-changing experience this past weekend.

/

And it was only when I was thinking about what to write about in this week’s blog post that I came to see how it relates to leadership.
/
And what was this profound experience about?

/

Plastic.

/
Not what you were expecting?  Well, me neither.
/
So I’m going to lay this out under three headings:

/

The Backstory

What I Experienced

How it Relates to Leadership

/


/

The Backstory

/
Our household participates in our city’s recycling program.  By North American standards, it’s pretty typical:
/
Recycling Bins
Green Bin  ==> organics (mostly food scraps)
Black Bin  ==>  paper (newspapers, cereal boxes, etc.)
Blue Bin  ==>  glass, metal and plastic (jars, cans, containers, etc.)
/
We’ve always been fairly diligent about it and our actions left us feeling like we were doing our small part in being environmentally responsible.

/


/

What I Experienced

/
Then, last Friday night, Jen and I watched a documentary on Netflix:

/

A Plastic Ocean

/
I found the film to be highly sobering and disturbing.
/
I’m not going to get into all the details of the film here, but what I will share with you is what you need to know in order to see how this relates to leadership.
/
The Plastic Pollution Coalition provides a summary and links to the scientific research regarding all the reasons why plastic is harmful.
/
For my purposes, here’s what I want to highlight:

/

Plastic is poisoning our food chain to an extent that is rapidly increasing — we are all ingesting more and more plastic through our everyday diets.

====

We got to this point due to our unchecked, habitual use of plastic.

====

Ultimately, if this continues, this could be the thing that wipes out the human race.

/

Whoa!

“Did you just say that, Brie?”

/
Well, I imagine your reaction to my bold statement is somewhere between two extremes:
/
“Brie, this is 100% idiotic.”
—————————————–  
“Brie, this is 100% true.”
/
And all this might prompt you to investigate this issue for yourself —
or it might not.
/
That’s not the point of this blog post.

/


/

How This Relates to Leadership:  Risk Management

/
As a leader, here’s what you need to ask yourself and the people you work with:

/

“Are there any habitual practices within our organization that are causing a slow accumulation of overlooked consequences that:

/

a)  are eating away at the health of our organization, and/or

/

b)  upon reaching a critical mass, could cause a tipping point that spells the death of our organization?”

/
If you discover such a threat, you can then work to eliminate the habitual practices at the root of it.
/
Changing habits, be they personal or organizational, is hard.
/
Even when you make a firm commitment, devise a plan and put it into action, expect to have setbacks.
/
Just keep your eye on the end goal and keep at it.
/
This is what Jen, our two kids and I are keeping in mind as we work towards our family’s new goal — to eliminate plastics from our lives.
/
We know this won’t be easy.  We know we will have setbacks.  But we’re going to keep at it.
/
Have a productive and enjoyable day!
/
— Brie
/
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