Risk Management Activity Planning: How to Get Unstuck after a Risk Assessment

Risk assessment can sometimes be overwhelming, resulting in a lengthy, daunting list of risks that need to be managed. Prioritizing the list of risks is another challenge, often resulting in arbitrary numerical scores. Attend this webinar to simplify your approach to risk assessment, and to focus your energy on implementing risk management activities instead of … Continued

Uncertainty: A New Formula for Crisis

There is a widely held and often repeated chestnut of Far Eastern wisdom that the Chinese word for “crisis” is composed of two seemingly opposite but complimentary characters. Maybe you’ve heard this one? It’s a gnomic gem that is particularly popular among executives and motivational speakers. The adage came into wide circulation after a speech … Continued

Unravel Risk Myths and Mysteries

By Melanie Lockwood Herman A recent conversation reminded me of the tendency to cling to myths and misconceptions about safety and the wide world of risk. Some of the risk-related myths I’ve heard from time to time include: The world is becoming more dangerous: Media reports of violence, tragic accidents, and familiar and less-known health risks … Continued

Person of Interest: Soliciting Insights from Staff In-the-Know

By Erin Gloeckner “It’s better to be interested than interesting.” – Oprah Winfrey  Are you a fan of true crime TV? In a crime drama, “person of interest” refers to an individual who possesses information that is potentially relevant to an investigation. While some persons of interest might come forward themselves, they are often identified … Continued

For the Love of Learning

Learning Lessons from NRMC’s Executive Director NRMC’s Melanie Lockwood Herman was recently inspired to see a consulting client devote a full day for all-staff training on topics ranging from diversity and inclusion to managing up. Melanie is an advocate for lifelong learning and professional development. Look back at some of Melanie’s articles on the topic … Continued

Infographic: Five Favorite Reads for Risk Professionals

AHT Insurance Partners with NRMC as Corporate Sustainer The NRMC team proudly announces that AHT Insurance has joined our family of Corporate Sustainers. We are grateful for the AHT team’s commitment to provide year-round support for NRMC’s mission. AHT previously sponsored our annual conference, the Risk Summit, and will now continue to do so, while supporting NRMC’s … Continued

Distraction & Decision Fatigue are Brain Drain for Risk Champions

By Melanie Lockwood Herman “The actual information that reaches the brain via our senses is not the rich and detailed stream of sights, sounds and sensations that we so often take for granted; in truth, the raw data our senses provide is more like a muddy trickle, and our brain does some quite incredible work … Continued

If I Only Had a Brain: Neuroscience and Risk Management

Cajoling colleagues into supporting risk management initiatives isn’t easy. Did you know that: the “laggy, lazy and distracted” brains of your staff and volunteers are hard-wired with roadblocks to risk-aware thinking and decision-making? various thinking patterns—including both intuitive shortcuts and analytical long-routes—send teams into dangerous territory, depending on the risk issue facing your team? NRMC … Continued

How Neuroscience and Risk Management Link to Fear and Memory

“To our brains, daily life is like tightrope-walking over a vast pit full of furious honey badgers and broken glass; one wrong move and you’ll end up as a gruesome mess in temporary but exquisite pain.” – Dean Burnett, Idiot Brain: What Your Head is Really Up To By Melanie Lockwood Herman To prep for … Continued

Ready, Mindset, Go!

April 6, 2016 By Melanie Lockwood Herman During two Risk Assessments / ERM engagements for complex nonprofit organizations, our team has shared the idea of a ‘risk aware mindset’ with our clients. What are we referring to? In general, we’re talking about a leadership team that is: Eager to learn, and learn some more Comfortable … Continued

Foster Dissent, Quiet Consensus

April 27, 2016 By Melanie Lockwood Herman I’ve been a fan of dissent–over comfortable consensus–for some time. While finishing Adam Grant’s book, Originals, I discovered some new insights into why and how consensus and groupthink pair up to kill innovation. Grant describes how Polaroid made strides in electronic imaging in the early 1980s, and finished … Continued

Be The Boss You Want to Work For

January 20, 2016 By Melanie Lockwood Herman In last week’s Risk eNews, Erin Gloeckner dared readers to promote workplace safety by managing the downside risk of employee sleep deprivation. In the Schumpeter column in this week’s edition of The Economist, (“The other side of paradise,” The Economist, January 16th, 2016), I was intrigued to learn … Continued

Closing Time: Effective Exit Interviews

By Melanie Lockwood Herman “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end…” – Closing Time, Semisonic Upon learning that an employee or volunteer will be leaving your nonprofit, you might schedule a time for the departing team member to turn in their keys, return equipment, and receive a briefing on post employment benefits. Departing … Continued

Rebellion: How to Change Your Approach to Learning

August 12, 2015 By Melanie Lockwood Herman “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin The desire to learn on the job is shared by employees from all generations, backgrounds and tenures. Yet promises made to new hires about “learning opportunities” are infrequently supported … Continued

Break Free: The Big Payoff from Kicking the Habit

April 1, 2015 By Melanie Lockwood Herman Leaders are guided and inspired by the missions and values of the organizations they serve when they are called on to balance risk and reward in programming. And when it comes to the toughest choices, most leaders go with their gut. But what if your gut is leading … Continued

Curiosity Trumps Competence

“I now consider potential to be the most important predictor of success at all levels, from junior manager to the C-Suite and the board.” — Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, “21st Century Talent Spotting,” Harvard Business Review, June 2014 By Melanie Lockwood Herman This week I’ve been reading a fascinating article about the benefit of emphasizing potential over … Continued

Coffee, Confusion and Continuous Improvement

By Melanie Lockwood Herman The book Born Standing Up, by Steve Martin, is a close-up look at the career of a performer who seemed to skyrocket to success as a standup comedian and then movie-star. As readers of Martin’s book quickly realize, his fast-track to success was only an illusion. Martin began honing his craft at … Continued

Lessons Learned: Sharing Staff Screening Setbacks

By Erin Gloeckner Hiring isn’t part of my job description, but last summer I had an opportunity to expand my role by co-managing the hiring process for our Director of Client Solutions, Kay Nakamura, and one of our Project Managers, Alex Ricketts. Both Kay and Alex turned out to be quick learners, supportive teammates, and … Continued

Enough is Enough: Banish Meeting Madness

By Emily Stumhofer We all go to meetings, sometimes even multiple meetings in the same day. A recent Bain & Company study reports that managers spend 15 percent of their time in meetings, and executives spend two full days per week in meetings. And according to a report on the “state of the modern meeting” … Continued

An Ounce of Experience is Worth a Pound of Speculation Maybe

By Melanie Lockwood Herman During last week’s Risk Management & Finance Summit for Nonprofits in Philadelphia, attendees heard a variety of messages about ways to consider and manage risk they encounter in their nonprofit organizations. Various themes were explored in plenary and workshop formats. One of the most powerful themes expressed in different ways from … Continued

History’s Mysteries… Unearth to Understand

By Melanie Lockwood Herman Although no new episodes are being produced, re-runs of the long-running program “History’s Mysteries” appear from time to time on the History Channel. The program capably debunks the idea that history is boring and offers compelling evidence of the expression “truth is stranger than fiction.” Recently, while watching an episode of … Continued

Training Wheels

By Melanie Lockwood Herman Last week I wrote about the connection between riding a vintage motorcycle in less than perfect weather conditions and the fact that things worth doing aren’t always easy to do. The feedback from readers led me to reflect on my first ride on a motorcycle: at the Motorcycle Safety Foundation’s Basic … Continued

We’re All Human

By Melanie Lockwood Herman When nonprofit leaders approach the Center for advice about strengthening their risk management practices, most imagine that what they need is a new “system,” a toolkit, workshop, a list of definitive do’s and don’ts or a checklist. The Center’s resources include all of the above. But what we often discover in … Continued

That Time of Year

By Melanie Lockwood Herman It’s “that time of year.” You know what I’m talking about. It’s the time of year when it is often hard to find an empty parking spot near the door of the neighborhood fitness center. Church attendance is up and restaurant menus are offering an impressive number of “light and fit” … Continued

Dread Knots

By Melanie Lockwood Herman In his provocative book, The Courage to Lead, R. Brian Stanfield writes: “To be human is to be filled with dread.” By “dread” Stanfield is referring to “a great fear or apprehension.” He reminds his reader that both the fear of dying and the fear of something terrible happening without warning … Continued

When One Door Closes

By Melanie Lockwood Herman After many years as a nonprofit leader and more transitions than I care to count, I’ve collected a handful of tips that help me close doors safely and walk with greater confidence across new thresholds. Resolve to see transitions as opportunities. The end of any relationship is an opportunity for your … Continued