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W6   making decisions in risky situations - simon pollard
W6   making decisions in risky situations - simon pollard
W6   making decisions in risky situations - simon pollard
W6   making decisions in risky situations - simon pollard
W6   making decisions in risky situations - simon pollard
W6   making decisions in risky situations - simon pollard
W6   making decisions in risky situations - simon pollard
W6   making decisions in risky situations - simon pollard
W6   making decisions in risky situations - simon pollard
W6   making decisions in risky situations - simon pollard
W6   making decisions in risky situations - simon pollard
W6   making decisions in risky situations - simon pollard
W6   making decisions in risky situations - simon pollard
W6   making decisions in risky situations - simon pollard
W6   making decisions in risky situations - simon pollard
W6   making decisions in risky situations - simon pollard
W6   making decisions in risky situations - simon pollard
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W6 making decisions in risky situations - simon pollard


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  • To summarise: Communities can become vulnerable to a range of hazards. These are triggered by social deprivation or events beyond a community’s control, e.g. anti social behaviour, environmental pollution Individual (e.g. elderly, children and the disabled) may require help and support, and can become vulnerable if they do not receive such care. Such assessments are based on individual officers personal experiences and application of knowledge. e.g. caring for vulnerable adults, Protecting children Extreme events (both natural and human in source) can disrupt service provisions and normal life. During such events, essential services should be protected, e.g. Extreme weather events, Pandemics Local authorities are having to reform their functions and services. These changes can include reorganisation and devolving responsibilities. Reforms can introduce elements of risk – for instance; may not achieve the desired results, disruption to services, e.g. Social enterprise, Reorganisation
  • Traditional view of a high reliability organisation Need to lead on to risk domains – different domains have differing maturity (e.g. some can prioritise, other can not) NB Risk maturity is not something which many chief execs will be familiar with, or have a full understanding of, so will need to be clarified. Also, remember that Barry and Jill thought the term insulting at first!
  • To develop this understanding, we have mapped the risk domains within local authorities. Risk domains were established through literature and expert opinion Look at similarities through the source-pathway-receptor model Offers deeper understanding into the array of risks LAs encounter. (N.B. LAs hadn’t previously thought of risk within these domains before, so this is new insight)
  • Recognising where the uncertainty lies in decision making can help improve policy making Diagram based on cynefin – can be used to categorise different forms of uncertainty which might be encountered (NB Barry had not heard of this either)
  • Transcript

    • 1. Uncertainty, risk and decision making in local government ‘Localism works’, LG Group Annual Conference, ICC Birmingham Simon Pollard, Sophie Rocks and Mark Smith [email_address]
    • 2. Risk - some observations
      • We are all risk managers; personally, professionally
      • Historic focus on analysis and process, less so on systemic understanding and human factors
      • ‘ Risk assessment’ has a mixed reputation in the public mind – bureaucracy, tick box, nanny state?
      • Resource constraint - ‘measured risk-taking’ (not recklessness) if services are to change
      • Fragmentation of oversight is a possibility
      • Technical silos and the language of risk
      • Risk governance – people, organisations, evidence, accountability, responsibility, risk culture
    • 3. What drives risk? (an analytic perspective) Potent hazards (sources) become available (pathways) to things we value (receptors), posing them harm (loss of value)
    • 4. Different characteristics for risks
      • Extreme risks (safeguarding vulnerable adults and children);
      • Moderate risks (crime and community safety, including fire);
      • Natural hazards (preparation for severe weather events, for health pandemics);
      • External threats (terrorist activity);
      • Treasury management and investments; and
      • Risk of failure in major service redesign.
      (after Lyons, 2007)
    • 5. Risk domains in local authority settings Individuals care of elderly Authority initiated reorganisation Unable to control health pandemics Groups of individuals environmental pollution Risks to communities Risks from events Risks from decision making processes Risks to vulnerable adults
    • 6. LARCI funded research – motivations
        • Partnership working with democratic accountability
        • Desire for ‘fit for purpose’ risk appraisal
        • Expectation of taking more risk, but in a measured way
        • Expectation of increased accountability and empowerment by actors
        • ‘ Nuanced approach’ to what works
        • Practitioner focus – best judgement at all times and seek to improve your judgement
      “ A repertoire of ideas of practical value and use, to inform risk strategies”
    • 7. Methodology
    • 8. Seven themes that emerge from 12 interviews
      • Emergent theme (no. sources, no. references to )
      • Learning (9, 82 )
      • Responsibility (9, 78 )
      • Process (9, 55 )
      • Uncertainty (9, 54 )
      • Communication and consultation (9, 25 )
      • The strategy-operational gap (8, 24 )
      • Weight of evidence (8, 18 )
    • 9. Risk and organisational learning – the change agenda organisational value N Maturity Mode / Style Process characteristic and effect 5 Optimised Adaptive Double loop learning The organisation is ‘best practice’, capable of learning and adapting itself. It not only uses experience to correct any problems, but also to change the nature of the way it operates. 4 Managed Quantified Single Loop learning The organisation can control what it does in the way of processes. It lays down requirements and ensures that these are met through feedback. 3 Defined Measured Open loop The organisation can say what it does and how it goes about it but not necessarily act on its analyses 2 Repeatable Prescriptive The organisation can repeat what it has done before, but not necessarily define what it does. 1 Ad hoc Re-active Characterises a learner organisation with complete processes which are not standardised and are largely uncontrolled 0 Incomplete violation Incomplete processes, criminal, deliberate violations Interpretation of maturity level
    • 10. Organisational learning - ‘maturity’ within public sector organisations (Marsh, 2009) present in silos process driven towards strategic value- added
    • 11. Good risk governance creates value – a power utility’s risk journey in practice Process sophistication Organisational value Risk specialization Enterprise risk awareness Risk management integration Risk/mitigation optimization 6 months 12 months 18-24 months 24-48 months Senior Management and Board information needs evaluated; Preliminary risk profile developed; Policies established or refined; Standard terminology, techniques, documents established; Functional unit accountabilities clarified Risk Profile refined (focus is on residual risks and tolerances); Regular reporting to Senior Management and Board of Directors established; Corporate risk assessment embedded in business planning process; Local risk owners identified; local risk management expertise identified; skills and knowledge transfer occurring Corporate performance measures refined to recognize risk tolerances and priorities; Risk assessment and prioritization fully embedded in business planning; Risk profile interdependencies recognized; Local risk management processes fully active Clear ties between stakeholder value and risk management activities; Comprehensive risk portfolio created; new risk exposures identified early; appropriate priority and mitigation determined quickly; Risk management embedded all key business processes, including strategic planning; Local risk management processes fully aligned with Corporate objectives 3 (after Fraser, 2005)
    • 12. Responsibility (to act) and accountability (to supply resources)
      • Risk appetite – has it been discussed?
      • Zero risk is not an option
      • Difficult to empower others if not
      • Keeping risk live and risk registers active
      • Power and personality – better, facilitative regulation
      (Davies, 2010)
    • 13. The ‘Just culture’ movement – balancing accountability, organisational learning and acceptable behaviour Aviation and patient safety reporting; see Sidney Dekker and James Reason on balancing safety and behaviour . Signals – pay attention to them, investigate them, don’t normalise them Genesis of industrial accidents; see Andrew Hopkins on mindful leadership Situational awareness, cognition, task performance and team behaviours Cognition and human factors in the workplace; see Rhona Flin on situational awareness
    • 14. Process – latent flaws in real systems (after, Reason 2000)
    • 15. Process – how accidents happen (after Hurst, 1998)
      • Human error: types
        • slips
        • lapses
        • mistakes
        • violations
      • Human error: causes
        • skill
        • rule
        • knowledge
      Assessment tools for safety management systems Socio-technical systems failures Management and organisational factors: management control Management theory Ergonomics Safety cultures issues. Attitudes to safety Failures of safety management systems Assessment tools for safety cultures and attitudes to safety People failures: Hierarchical Task Analysis. Human reliability Assessments
      • The underlying basis of human actions/beliefs
        • psychological
        • sociological
        • cultural
        • political
        • economic
      People problems System problems Technical problems Technical hardware Failures: Reliability Engineering Design Accident Assessment tools for hardware and the impact of failure
    • 16. Uncertainty in decisions
      • “ we have formal evidence based processes which are based on big issues, but still need local knowledge to understand and interpret it”
      (adapted from Snowden and Boone, 2007)
      • what sort of uncertainty is it?
      • is it resolvable?
      • care on paralysis by analysis
      • are we safe now?
      • are we doing enough to keep us safe?
    • 17. (Miles, 2002) Better risk governance - conclusions