Mitigating risk through your management system

October 2020

A strong and effective management system is one of the best methods of risk mitigation in a business – as well as a driver of improved organisational performance.

The management system is made up of the different policies, procedures and forms which describe  the way that things should be  done in your organisation. It’s about how things are done in the organisation, and documenting it in these ways helps to ensure a consistent approach.

As providers transitioned from state government block funding in to the NDIS, many had to simultaneously comply with the requirements of three different quality frameworks: 1/ legacy funding state government quality accreditations, 2/ NDIS quality and safeguards requirements (supporting participants up to age 64), and 3/ the aged care quality standards often under the Commonwealth Home Support Program (for clients 65 and over).

Continue reading…

Addressing risks (and opportunities) through the budgeting process

September 2020

When setting the budget, one thing you are never going to get perfect is for the actual revenue and expenses to precisely hit the budget that you set. There will always be items that are under budget and others that are over budget.

Inherent in the budgeting process is that there are a myriad of assumptions that you make: utility bills will be the same as last year plus inflation; we have a new service/product which we hope will bring in a certain amount of revenue; we need to invest in some IT work to improve systems which will cost a certain amount.

The budget is a series of guesses – well, educated guesses! You have targets and predictions and know what happened last year, so you can usually make a fairly good ‘guess’, but there will always be overs and unders – as compared with the assumptions.

Continue reading…

Understanding your competitors better

September 2020

“If you know your enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles”.

Sun Tzu from The Art of War

In recent months, we have shared articles that help you to understand yourself, your organisation and its market position with tools like SWOT and SOAR and Understanding your context.

As the great Sun Tzu has pointed out, it is also important to know your enemy, or – for many not for profits – who you are competing against. That is, the other organisations who are working in similar locations and providing similar or alternative services.

Continue reading…

MEDIA RELEASE: Community Business Grants focus on risk opportunities for struggling not for profits

With a recent national survey showing that the pandemic continues to profoundly impact the sustainability of not for profit organisations across Australia, a new grant opportunity could be the much-needed lifeline for many that are struggling to identify and address the risks they face during the current period of uncertainty and beyond.

The Community Business Bureau (CBB) has fast-tracked the next round of its Community Business Grants program, which offers risk-focussed grants in the form of pro bono consulting support and expert advice from CBB’s sector-leading business consultants.

Continue reading…

Building organisational health as a competitive differentiator

It seems everything we read at the moment is talking about the global pandemic, technology changes, disruption, innovation and “pivoting” strategy.

In the pandemic, gin companies have shifted to making sanitiser and restaurants have moved to a takeaway product offering. But even before recent crises, there have been major shifts to disruptive technologies and business models going on for years.

In the past, you needed significant property assets to compete in the hotel business, but Airbnb has disrupted that sector without owning any property. Uber now undercuts decades old taxi companies without owning any vehicles. Netflix used online content to overtake the local Blockbuster store. Film camera company Kodak was overtaken by digital photography and consumers taking images on their phones instead of buying cameras.

All over the world, board members and CEOs are continually looking for the next competitive advantage only to discover that disruptive trends like this have changed the rules and challenged established business models. Continue reading…

Writing a risk policy

My insurer has asked if we have a risk management policy – where do we start?

Does this sound familiar? Or maybe you have one and it is that time of the year to review it again. Or perhaps the health and economic crisis flowing from COVID-19 has you looking at the risk policy again and wondering if you could have been better prepared?

Whatever the case, it does beg to answer the question of what should go in the risk policy? Continue reading…

Building a mature approach to risk governance

You have probably read about the importance of the Board’s role when it comes to providing oversight of risk management in an organisation. But how do you do this practically? What sorts of activities are common to organisations that have a mature approach to risk governance?

Boards play a key role in overseeing the culture, governance and risk management framework. Different organisations have varying degrees of sophistication and rigour as it applies to the practice of risk management.

Depending on the sector that your not for profit is operating within, there are differing and frequently changing compliance standards to comply with. New Aged Care Quality Standards came in to place last year which address governance and risk management systems. Continue reading…

Risk maturity

Does this sound like you or your organisation?…..

We’ve got a risk register and mitigation plans. We report to the Board on risk every meeting. We’ve got dozens of procedures that help us with compliance and work health safety. We’re accredited to the NDIS Quality and Safeguarding standards and maybe even another different accreditation body as well. We tick the boxes on what we need to do with clinical compliance. We even have a risk policy that was based on the international standard. Surely, we are doing everything we need to on risk management, right?

Maybe. If this example sounds like you, then you are certainly doing a lot of things right on risk management, and that is really important for minimising the risk of incidents and ensuring you achieve the objectives in the strategic plan that you are aspiring towards. Continue reading…

Keeping a regular eye on risk

Has there ever been a more important time to be monitoring new and emerging risks to your organisation? Perhaps it is becoming one of 2020’s most overused words that we are living in “unprecedented” times.

The emergence of the global coronavirus pandemic this year has forced every organisation to review its business continuity plan and take a number of other steps to ensure the safety of employees and clients, modify operations, change marketing priorities and shore up the financial position.

On the subject of coronavirus, CBB have shared a link to some resources available through the South Australian Department of Human Services via our LinkedIn page which readers may find of interest. Other information is available from the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission. Continue reading…

The need for a whistleblowing policy

We have seen recently World Vision Australia reported on ABC news, with a staffer suspended pending investigation into an alleged conflict of interest, with the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) saying that World Vision brushed off reports of corruption.

silver whistle

The articles describe allegations wherein the father of a senior employee was engaged to advise on the procurement of printing contracts for the organisation, and that he collected commissions from the printing company that were never disclosed to World Vision Australia.

The SMH article describes that a whistleblower made enquiries to meet with the CEO, but that the CEO’s office alerted the employee who was the subject of the allegation and did not investigate the matter appropriately.

Sadly, it is not just the corporate sector where organisations can fail to live up to their values, and the not for profit sector is not immune to this type of conduct. Continue reading…