You Snooze, You Lose…

“Growing up in Namibia, I spent many of my holidays on my grandparents farm, which is in an arid area of the country. There was no electricity and every drop of water had to be pumped from a borehole. This didn’t worry my grandfather in the least.

Regardless of the season, he was up every morning before sunrise when the old cuckoo clock struck four, and was then in the kitchen making coffee. After this he headed out to attend the work of the day.

He didn’t press a “snooze” button. In fact, I doubt he ever set an alarm clock. His motto was:

“today, not tomorrow”.

He knew that when it was time to plough, that’s what had to be done, because the rains don’t have a snooze button. The same went for the cows. When they came into the kraal in the early morning, it was milking time. No hitting the snooze button.

The snooze button is an invention which encourages the poor habit of delaying unavoidable action.

Pressing the snooze button buys one a few extra minutes sleep, but doesn’t make a difference in the long run.

Instead of hitting the ground running, we fall prey to this folly of delayed action, which often results in things taking longer. Every time we choose “I-can-do-that-later”, we waste time picking up the thread and re-focusing.

In terms of safety, there are a number of examples. Two of these are OPPORTUNITY and RISK. Opportunity normally has a short time frame and if you press snooze, in most cases, you will lose out. The expression, “there will always be another opportunity”, is the language of losers.

The same goes for risk. Once it has been identified, it must be dealt with, because a risky situation cannot be put on hold. Actually, if swift action is not taken, an even bigger risk might be created by breeding complacency.”

Jurgen Tietz, diretor: eKhuluma and Disruptive Safety.
Source: SHEQ Management, Issue 1 2018.

Total Risk Reduction

There is no such thing as an unimportant thing or being. 

If you really want to reduce risk and improve on anything, you must consider everything in the process line or management structure. A key word is “TOTALITY”– end to end review.

A high tech iPad is of no use if you dispose of the simple charger. The most sophisticated motor vehicle is redundant without air to put in the tyres. An outstanding CEO is not outstanding without the rest of the company staff. Simple examples but you get the point!

Totality is what makes an item, process or operation subject to minimal negative risk. Outstanding management are not leaders but rather motivators. Give your staff the resources to manage and they will focus on risk.

The key risk for any CEO is simply giving staff the tools to do the job.

A CEO’s take on company Risk Measurement

A word from the CEO of Sancert on Risk Measurement

Leon Swart, CEO and founder of Sancert has been in the management industry for over 30 years as a business owner, offering products and services for ISO quality and risk management. 

I am always fascinated at how many large and small companies bog themselves down with flavour of the day business philosophy, guru idolism, quality and risk measurement tools followed by a string of meetings to discuss and plan. Surely all the energy, time, cost and outsourced fees for all the above should be considered a risk in itself?

If a company measures its wall to wall cost so it can determine an overall running cost per hour, then consider the time spent on all the above items- the investment will definitely astound you! Then consider that the investment is direct profit loss, meaning (in simple terms) if that cost is R50 000 and your profit margins are 25%, the next R200 000 of business just covered those internal costs. Plus, you have lost all the time spent making that profit.

I can’t tell you how many times I have seen top management in EXCO meetings debating a R20 000 expenditure for half an hour. Six top executives at a running cost to company of easily R2000 per half an hour is R12 000, and then of course that time is lost and cannot be spent on something else, so in essence R24 000 has been spent on a R20 000 decision.

So my argument is very simply put, but my point is; we spend way too much time and resources nowadays without actually understanding the cost. The real basics of a company is simply to make a profit.

That should be the only risk measured.