Score: 94/100 (9.4 out of 10)
“Twelve-Minute Risk Management” by Ivy Walker is one of the best business-related books we've ever read, even compared to some of the heavy-hitters in previous seasons like “Negotiate Like a CEO” and “The Team Game.” It can really stare eye-to-eye with quality books like that. What's incredible about this book is its focus on one key topic that often gets overlooked: RISK. There's a flurry of self-help and business books about affirmative thinking, being a go-getter, living your dreams, following your passions, but there aren't very many books for the more cautious and apprehensive among us who say, “HOLD UP. WAIT A MINUTE. SOMETHING AIN'T RIGHT.”
There needs to be more books like this. Even in a country like the United States that's supposed to be friendly to business, there are so many things out to get your business from cybercriminals, criminal-criminals (like thieves and arsonists), inside jobs, and the government itself (through regulations). There are also issues that are easy to overlook like the relatively high risk of workplace violence including domestic violence spilling into the workplace.
Honest to goodness, this book scared us, probably for the better. It may have made us a bit paranoid, especially when it comes to cybersecurity. Can you believe what would happen if someone actually managed to h*ck all the business and personal info on your computer? That's a nightmare! Imagine if you ran a relatively big business with over $100,000 going in and out, then someone managed to access your account and transfer it all! Or what if someone leaked all your customers' data, and then you owed them all in settlements! Wowie chihuahua! If makes us consider getting VPNs or something. Remember when North Korea did that to Sony? What a disaster!
Another risk that likely gets overlooked by most businesses is the threat of a shooting in a workplace. These are surprisingly common. The author says that many businesses have fire or natural disaster drills, but almost none have active-shooter drills. So, what happens when a shooting actually happens? It's chaos and the response is poor. People needlessly die or get hurt, and the consequences reach far beyond that. Families get broken. Children are orphaned. Partners are widowed. There's bad press and a stigma that surrounds your business that scare customers away. You have to pay to address physical and psychological damages to employees. It's like a snowballing ripple effect with these things. And what's both incredible and extremely tragic is that many of these things could be prevented if someone had intervened or spoken up. If someone had just said that they suspected a co-worker was on edge, purchased weapons, or had made a threat, then many of these incidences may have been prevented. That's where employee education comes in, and that's a huge focus of this book. Employees should know that they can report things anonymously and that it's to be expected and encouraged. No one should feel forced to keep secrets in the workplace, especially ones that could have such dire consequences as life, death, or safety.
Safety always comes first. The author says that no amount of money is greater than someone's life or safety. That means that if you have to hire out experts or specialists to do potentially dangerous things like lift heavy objects or fix a ceiling, then do so. The expense of getting it done right and safely is far less than if an untrained or non-specialized employee were to have something fall on them, break their back or ankle, or have the ceiling cave in on them. It's better to spend the extra money to make sure that safety and security measures are in place than to pay for it later in injuries, damages, loss of life, lawsuits, or workers comp.
Another major focus of this book is the risk presented by inside jobs, especially ones that can wreck a small business. It only takes one employee with too much power and too many “keys” to steal/embezzle thousands of dollars from you, sometimes over an extended period of time and without you (the employer) knowing. This is why there need to be checks and balances. No one person should be signing all the checks without them being checked or approved by another party, including CFOs and treasurers. The book gives a rather interesting story about a lady who secretly embezzled money from the mayor's office/city and county year after year after year, even operating unscrupulously through multiple mayoral terms. The point is: it could happen to you and your business if you don't have the proper safeguards in place!
All in all, this is very good business book that's totally worth your time going through.
Check it out on Amazon!