Singing carols
Property Casualty

Risk Management Wisdom from Your Favorite Holiday Carols

Chris Murphy
Chris Murphy
Vice President of Commercial Risk & Safety, Property Casualty

It’s long been said that those of us who practice risk management for a living can never truly turn our minds off — even when we are off the clock. Many of us have been caught pointing out a pothole in the parking lot where we are shopping or sharing that we noticed a fire extinguisher wasn’t fully charged while celebrating a friend’s birthday at a local restaurant. We can’t help it. It’s just the way we are.

Then, there are some that take things to a whole new level. Such was the case with me last week as we were making the transition in holiday decorations at home. To really get into the spirit, we queued up our favorite holiday playlist and decked the halls (and every other room for that matter) with so much silver and gold that I feel like I’m living in a jewelry store.

As I was listening, I started hearing lyrics that made me think of what I do every day — managing risk.

Let’s take a short journey through some of my all-time favorites to see how we can apply the wisdom in these carols to better manage risk in our organizations.

‘Oh, What Fun It Is to Ride in a One-horse Open Sleigh!’

While there’s no doubt that riding in a sleigh is fun, it’s the whole “one horse” thing that requires some attention. What if that one horse gets tired or isn’t in a sleigh-pulling kind of mood? Instead of jingle belling all the way, the passengers are stuck out in the cold wondering what to do next.

Such is the case with many organizations. Everything is going well until that “one horse” isn’t available. Maybe your “horse” is a key piece of equipment that every operation runs through or a building that you just can’t live without. Identify these key risks and repeatedly ask “what if?” What if the horse gets tired? What if the paint booth isn’t working for three days? What if this building isn’t here tomorrow?

Develop your Plan B before disaster strikes, so you’re not left out in the cold.

‘Frosty the Snowman Knew the Sun Was Hot that Day…

So, he said, “Let’s run and we’ll have some fun now before I melt away.”

There must have been some magic in that old silk hat, because Frosty knew he needed to act quickly. So often in our businesses, we get busy and the great ideas we have seem to melt away, never to be seen again.

You won’t be able to holler “Stop!” and implement every great idea right away, but make a point to write down these epiphanies as they come to mind.

I’ve heard from many companies who found the silver lining of 2020 to be that they took a step back and worked on projects that never seemed to rise to the top of the to-do list. Make a list, check it twice, and know that you’ll be back again — someday — with ideas that will move your business forward. Plan today so you can dance later.

‘Said the Shepherd Boy to the Mighty King, “Do You Know What I Know?”‘

If you want to uncover the greatest risks in your business, ask the “shepherds” on the front lines. Nobody will ever know the job better than those who do it every day.

A great way to move your risk management program forward in the new year is to be more intentional about asking your employees for their ideas. Ask what they see, what they hear, and what they know that will bring you goodness and light.

As you close the book on 2020 and move into 2021, I hope you and your team will “dream by the fire…to face unafraid, the plans that you’ve made.” Whether we’re walking in a winter wonderland or through the halls of your facilities, we’ll be by your side every step of the way.

Have your own holiday wisdom? Let us know and we’ll spread the cheer! And certainly, if you have any questions on your risk management program, reach out to us! We have experts well-versed in Property Casualty risks and are happy to step in and provide support!

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