Time-Risk Management

I’ve studied risk for more than 25 years. Much of my work, obviously, involves the use of insurance products.

Financial risk directly impacts an organization’s financial statements. The loss of a building due to fire or the impact of a lawsuit are both examples of financial risk. Most insurance products address financial risk.

Qualitative risks affect the quality of an asset, a business operation or your lifestyle. Qualitative risks are more difficult to address. They include such issues as the loss of the talented person or the loss of market share to a competitor.

Inefficiencies and wasted time are also a qualitative risk. Forcing your employees to use insufficient or antiquated technology reduces the quality of your operation as do ineffective people.

I see time as a risk issue. Time is extraordinarily valuable. There is in no way any of us can get more time. Therefore, the effective use of time presents, perhaps, the ultimate risk.

So, does working hard and using every second reduce time-risk? Certainly not. I spent time this morning snowshoeing in the woods. I could have been shoveling the walkways (certainly hard work) or I could have been writing this article (by most standards, a good use of time).

The key is valuable actions.

Snowshoeing this morning was valuable to me at that moment in time. Right now, writing this article is valuable to me – and ultimately, hopefully, to you.

In the past I mentored kids at our state youth detention facility. We often talked about the virtue of doing the right things, at the right time, in the right ways.

Peter Drucker said, “Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.”

Hard work by itself does not mean valuable work. It is also not a matter of working smarter. It’s about working in a way that provides extraordinary value – value as perceived by a customer, by a boss, or by your organization. It’s also actions that are valuable to you, your family, and your community.

Consider your time-risk.