Big Risk, Big Reward: Using a risk-based system to achieve stability, balance, and well-being. Submitted by Katy Doucette

May 15, 2024

Big Risk, Big Reward: Using a risk-based system to achieve stability, balance, and well-being. Submitted by Katy Doucette

Aerospace is a fast-paced, heavily regulated industry that offers an environment of high risk and high reward. My story in aerospace started two years ago when I transitioned from law enforcement. Moving from one high risk, high stakes industry into another, I wasn’t sure what to expect. With over 17 years of program and project experience in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, I was excited and a little nervous about joining a one-hundred-year-old aerospace start up.

Balancing the growing pains of a legacy company with cutting-edge technology and the pressure to innovate and grow can be challenging to say the least. The learning curve is constant and the pressure to perform is intense. At times, it’s easy to get lost in the, at times, conflicting pressures, but I’ve learned a few things along the way that can bring stability and balance for myself and my peers. Creating repeatable systems is one way to bring order to constant change, and an effective way to manage your mental health and well-being when you’re under pressure. You can achieve this by using a systematic, risk-based approach.

Risk-Based Approach:

Step one: Identify the risk or issue. In other words, name the thing that no one wants to name. If there is a lot of churn, conflict, or lack of progress on your team or initiative, identify the risk or issue. Adopt a data-gathering mindset and collect the facts. Be curious and ask those with more knowledge around you what they feel might be a problem.

Step two: Compile your findings and create a risk statement. This will help you identify the root cause issue and the impact of not resolving it. Here is an example of what a risk statement looks like:

Risk: The risk that insufficient time for training will impact customer service delivery.

Impact: If insufficient time for training is not provided, this could negatively impact customer service, operational efficiency, and employee morale.

Root cause: The root cause is the schedule, not necessarily the training plan.

Step three: Build a recovery plan that addresses the root cause. Make this actionable and assign it to one person to drive it to resolution.

The recovery plan is to increase the schedule to allow for the business to complete sufficient training. The training plan should ensure coverage of all tasks linked to satisfied customers.

Step four: Rinse and repeat! Adopting a risk-based mindset and repeatable framework will help you proactively identify risks and resolve them before they become issues.

Having a repeatable system will help you manage the pressure around you and give you a framework to navigate risk. It’s on you to bring stability to yourself and your organization. Moving into Mental Health Month, I challenge you to think about creating one repeatable system to bring some stability to the pressures, whether it’s managing risk at work, or developing a new habit to personally manage your well-being.