For those of us who own cars, trucks or SUVs and drive them regularly, here’s a short survey to evaluate your risk tolerance. Yes or no, do you:
- Wait until your brakes fail completely, before having them inspected and serviced?
- Drive in extreme snow and freezing rain conditions with “all season” tires“ instead of “winter” tires?
- Wait until the oil indicator light comes on before topping up?
- Drive in winter conditions without checking and topping up the windshield washer fluid level?
- Routinely run the gas tank down to “E” and keep driving on vapors?
- Ignore obvious signs of misaligned wheels?
If you answered yes to most or all these questions, you have a high tolerance for risk and the rest of this blog post may not be all that relatable for you.
If, however, most of your responses were “no”, then you likely assessed the above behaviours as high risk. When it comes to taking care of your vehicle, you lean towards preventive maintenance rather than the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” approach. This is especially true if you rely on your vehicle for travelling to and from work and/or transporting your loved ones.
Does the same hold true for you in your workplace? Do you regularly assess the health and overall effectiveness of the processes, technologies, organizational structures and people that support your organization? And when you encounter signs of wear and tear, do you invest the necessary resources (time, money, management attention) to fix the problems? Not just for the highly visible customer-facing functions but also the underlying core support functions?
Support functions, such as Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology and Risk Management serve as the frame, engine and safety features of an organization. When leaders fail to maintain and invest adequately in these key functions within their organizations, isn’t that similar to spending money to have your vehicle washed, waxed and detailed, then heading out for a long drive while ignoring the yellow or red brake indicator light?!
Wondering whether your organization’s support functions are effective, reliable and safe to carry you and your team for the journey ahead? StraightUp Management Solutions can help you inspect and diagnose what is working well, what needs maintenance and repair and provide hands-on practical solutions to get you on your way. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 905-466-7688 for a free consultation.
Margaret Foulds, CPA, CA, PMP is Principal Consultant and President of, StraightUp Management Solutions, a consulting firm that helps not-for-profit organizations and businesses solve their most pressing structural, finance and operating problems with practical, cost-effective solutions.