The End or the Beginning?

One October long weekend some years ago we took our kids camping on a beautiful stretch of land between the ocean and the lake in mid-north NSW. It was packed with all types of campers for the 3 days, and our tent was plonked right in the middle. We’d had a fun weekend with beautiful weather and on day 3, as the tent sites emptied out, we chose to stay an extra night to enjoy some peace and quiet.

Being young parents, we were focussed on the kids and ourselves and paid little attention to the fact that the entire campsite was empty except for a few campers who remained around the perimeter. As the afternoon drew on, the wind picked up, so we started to tidy up our tent site. By evening there was no joy in sitting around playing cards, as the wind strengthened. We put the kids to bed and soon decided the only choice was to head to bed ourselves to avoid what was becoming an unpleasant gale.

As we headed back to our tent from the toilet block one almighty gust blew through the campsite sending our gaslight flying and snapping our tent poles, all the while with children asleep in the now flattened tent! We didn’t manage to stay that extra night after all – instead we headed home in the middle of the night after methodically packing up in the gale with our children dozing in the safety of their car seats!

In recent discussions with clients, they have been amazed to hear that some businesses were well prepared for the impact of Covid and the ensuing disruptions to global supply chains. They are surprised when I tell them of clients who had 2 years’ worth of stock pre-Covid, and others who moved from Chinese imports to local manufacture back in 2018 and 2019.

Now you might be thinking that we’re at the tail end of Covid, but what other risks have you considered in your business planning? Enterprise Risk Management and Business Risk Assessment is designed to help business leaders make good decisions. It should give insights into potential risks and guide solutions to ensure the business goals and objectives can be achieved. Risk management includes monitoring both the internal and external environment to understand your weaknesses and anticipate potential disruptions.

If we had checked the weather forecast that October long weekend, or if we had observed that the only remaining tents were protected by the lee of the hill, then we may never have had to pack up in the middle of the night with a broken tent! How are you ensuring your business is prepared for the next strong wind gust?