The Business of Learning

Training and Preparation: The Keys to Eliminating Organizational Risk

When it comes to preparing for worst case scenarios, most organizations focus on obvious areas such as compliance and regulatory standards. While this is common practice for addressing a potential crisis, the best way to prepare for the unknown is to identify potential organizational risk scenarios and prepare for them in advance through the most effective training. Raytheon Professional Services (RPS) helps our clients do just that with our focus on high consequence training.

Training Graphic

Last week, our team attended the Training Industry Conference and Expo where, along with Tom Whelan, our research partner at Training Industry, we presented on the topic of Preparing for the Worst: Confronting Organizational Risk with Training Strategies. Our presentation offered research insights into what high consequence environments are, how the organizations perceive and manage risk, how organizations can implement training strategies to reduce risk and the impact on the business.

At their core, organizations operating in high consequence environments can be described as having a significant business concern with managing, mitigating or eliminating risk borne of unwanted variability. These organizations use processes and procedures that focus on consistency and predictability. They also have a strong focus on safety (including but not limited to the potential for physical injury or death) and regulatory/compliance standards and requirements. These organizations are also likely to place a high value on industry/domain expertise due to the high cost of failure.

In order to better prepare for risks that come with working in these high consequence industries and environments, it is important to first identify the types of organizational risks likely to be encountered:

  • Preventable risks; internal risks that are usually controllable
  • Strategic risks; voluntary acceptance of risk to achieve business outcomes, and
  • External risks; those that arise from events beyond organizational control

Our research involved surveying over 150 companies across more than a dozen different industries about the risks they encounter and their approach to eliminating them. Our survey data revealed some interesting findings:

  • 71 percent of companies identified their company or select department as operating in high consequence environments
  • The top industries that identified themselves as operating in high consequence environments include: Aerospace, Banking & Finance and Utilities
  • Among both large and small companies the top three sources of risk identified were: physical work environment, relationships with customers and reliability of support systems
  • 50-58 percent of organizations regularly applied strategic planning to training to mitigate risk, fewer than five percent are never doing so
  • In terms of best practices for implementing high consequence training, participants ranked these at the top: train at regular intervals, provide training on specific topics and leverage technology.

While we can see that some strides have been made as we review these findings along with the value and importance of addressing organizational risk through high consequence training, it is clear there is still work to be done.

Interested in learning more about high consequence training and how your organization compares? You can review the full presentation including survey results and findings below:


Have other insight to share on how your organization approaches organizational risk through training? Please leave your comments below or reach out to us on LinkedIn.

TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *