Extreme Impacts

Exercise the Unexpected
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Time invested in exercising the unexpected offers returns in short term profitability and long term viability. By moving thinking from 'what-if' questions to 'how-to' actions, executive decision makers and teams learn to develop innovative approaches to deal with unexpected threats and take advantage of new opportunities.

Extreme events offer the immediate benefit of challenging entrenched assumptions and routine risk and opportunity management practices. Repeated exercises can build resilience and a better appreciation of the genuine complexity of markets, supply-chains, relationships, security and the natural environment.

Our intervention services are designed to challenge and assess critical concerns of policy, strategic, and operational management in order to improve performance and encourage creativity in today's increasingly dynamic environment.

Impact Challenges

Impact Challenges offer a supplemental form of training in which individual stakeholders or teams are given regular, short form scenario based challenges relevant to their roles which they can respond to in their own time. The challenges exercise skills, stimulate resilient thinking and, by sharing responses with peers, allow a continuous assessment of capability and knowledge transfer.

Challenges improve the link between formal training programs which develop core skills and the on-going application of those skills across a range of work settings. By regularly applying skills in a variety of work situations, people improve knowledge retention and, more importantly, evolve those skills through a process of continuous adaptation. 

Impact Exercises

An Impact Exercise is a form of action learning in which executive stakeholders participate in a plausible high consequence scenario in order to exercise their roles and responsibilities in critical decision making and collaboration.

Each event is researched in depth to ensure that the scenario is relevant and engages participants in realistic hypothetical situations which challenge assumptions and test management skills.

Exercises need to engage the participants with realistic challenges. While off-the-shelf 'games' can develop team relationships, they do not provide the context to foster deep insight and learning. An effective impact exercise challenges participants with critical decision making and test fundamental assumptions regarding stakeholder co-ordination and collaboration. 


Impact Drills

An Impact Drill provides an opportunity for operational units to get a small taste of the pressure, complex decision making and teamwork which arises during an extreme event. Impacts may be explored across a wide variety of units including call centres, crisis centres, logistics hubs, public communications staff, product managers, legal and human relations units. 


Existing plans, procedures, command and control structures are tested in the context of a detailed high consequence incident which can include external actors performing the roles of related stakeholder groups such as customers, members of the general public, and other competing and conflicted operating units.

Drills can help test the viability of emergency plans and train staff who are often required to take on new and unfamiliar roles in the event of a high consequence incident.  

Impact Mitigation Policy and Investment Strategies

The impacts of extreme risk result in non-linear consequences. For example one accident at 100 km/h will do far more damage to a car than one hundred accidents at 1 km/h. On the other hand, one hundred different 1 km/h accidents may have a greater impact on a community than a single crash at 100 km/h. In a complex environment with many connections, consequences can lead to further systemic failures well beyond the expectation of any initial loss.


Traditional risk management approaches and likelihood / consequence metrics often fail to recognise the disproportionate impact of extreme, non-routine, events. Mitigation policy and investment strategies can be improved by analysing the fragility of strategic assets and testing the fundamental assumptions of the organisation. Techniques from complexity science can be employed to structure a portfolio which is appropriate for your organisation and the environment in which it operates.   


GRASP (Governance and Risk Assessment for Strategic Programs)


A GRASP exercise is a form of 'premortem' in which stakeholders are placed in a post-program delivery scenario to reflect upon the role that they will have played to realise benefits, achieve program and portfolio ROI and mitigate risks. Program failure scenarios are wound backwards to better envision potential risks at the outset of a program or upon completion of a major milestone. 
                

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