Emma Cundiff

October 25, 2020 - 11:39 AM - 404 views
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Good afternoon and welcome to funky media radio. You're listening to me Fiona catchpowle, aka Frankie cyber grant. And today we are talking to another fabulous woman in business. And her name is Emma Cundiff. Good afternoon!

Oh, good afternoon. Now you are from the beautifully titled The International School of risk management. Tell me a little bit about risk management and what do I need to know.

Risk Management is a multi-disciplinary function. And the term risk management through a number of areas is applied, whether it be risk management in financial services, risk management in investment, risk management in products, or projects, risk management in health and safety, data protection, everyone, and there are many, many others will use the term risk management and the professional risk management itself is only about 14 years old. But all of those other kinds of jobs that I've listed, have been doing risk management for many, many years before that.

The benefits of risk management were surprises to the business, the type of risk management that I enjoy doing. And there are a number of things that the international school does. But it's getting businesses to identify what time certain events could occur to their business, and what impacts that might have on the business. Say for example, a pandemic.

And so, while that's I guess you might have been very busy than helping people, I navigate this situation and risk management.

And it certainly has been an interesting time. And where some of the really big corporates would have had an established risk management function. They would have professionals in all of the topic areas, many, many businesses very small businesses wouldn’t, and one country locked down. And what are they what were they going to do? Where could they turn to, for information? And it's true to say that are on the 23rd of March, my business died as well. And I thought, well, what can I actually do? And it was for me identifying very local small businesses. And I'm thinking rational, the big guys get all the good luck when these neatnik these little guys need support. One particular company I worked with was my local micro pop, and I'm going to give a plug for them. And it's the paper mill not prepared in sitting room. And I approached the landlord Harvey media on the fifth of March. So, there was no lockdown. But I said to him, what plans have you got in place? Should they be a lockdown here? As we began to see the lights of Italy, and Spain begin to lock down? At that time, he thought I was joking. And it took him another week for me to come down for a meeting. And on a 13th of March, we sat down and I said what are you going to do? What happens if your pub gets shut down? And together? We worked through a plan. And he said what do you take away and I said that sounds brilliant. I could do deliveries. I said that sounds brilliant. So, a week later on that 20th of March when doors open or to the pubs to close, and Javi was angle, the very following day to launch his takeaway and delivery service. And to supply a carry-on supplying beer was a lot of other hubs just kind of run by shut their doors and gave up. He was only unable to operate for about three days when an off-licence function wasn't deemed essential. But then the supermarket shelves were ripped through of alcohol, alcoholic drinks. And what the government reclassified people as traders with an off licence to restart. And so, from about the 27th of March, all the way through, he was able to trade, and he was able to trade very, very well. Now the upside of that as well is that he was able to keep other suppliers going and suppliers of beers and ciders whose market had just dropped and he was able to actually kind of keep up keep on buying, which was so good for them and good fit for where they and then when the Fourth of July came around, and we looked at the opening and we started planning for this way back in May and we were able to utilise this back yard area. Another upside for him out of all of this room, things finally get back to normal, he's just increased the capacity of his part, because I can't see him giving up the outdoor area that he has managed to get. So, it's been a good success for him. For others, for other business owners, it was just enabling them to see the kind of light at the end of the tunnel, they have no idea what sort of things they will need to do. And with my skill set, I was I was able to work through a number of risk reduction or risk control measures with them to say, you are going to have to think about x, y, and Zed. And so, for a lot of them, it gave them encouragement, confidence, to be able to go ahead and plan for the reopening of their businesses. And I have to say, everyone, I hope helped, they are still struggling, and marketing firms are now and I think the paper mill will be fine, I've already been on to him to say, you better keep planning, my concerns will be now if there's another lockdown. And some businesses, not only my little ones, I will just kind of shut up shop. And that will be it. But I guess though, in the in these recent weeks, so having somebody to talk to like yourself, has been kind of like a waste of their minds apart from anything else.

It is, and I've been helping a number of companies with their COVID-19 risk assessments. That's one area I didn't do work in. And it's been able to properly diagnose, not diagnose or describe what we're facing. And it's all about the transmission of the virus. And how does that happen. If you can identify the event, you can then put in a number of measures. And I had just one client last night came to me and said maybe stuck in the Midlands, because the infection rate is rising, she's been able to look at her risk assessment and take a decision based on the changing nature of infection up there. She has now said we're closing the office, everyone back to home, which I think this is entirely what this risk management is all about. Knowing what your events are and being able to be swift and able to adapt very, very quickly, very much like Harvey was able to do in March.

And then the adaption process as well. Are you able to help talk them through that and identify, you know, where they would get resources and things like that for the adoption, like people working from home with laptops and facilities and things like that? Does that part of what you do? It's part of what I do. And then that that's kind of in the business continuity planning. And basically saying to people, well, if we're going to do this, and perhaps you're looking for takeaways, then you must now do is to stop forcing where you might need to do a takeaway containers, you need to have a number of slides. Because I've said to them, remember, everybody is now going to be looking for takeaway cups, takeaway cartons, so you need to be prepared, and you need to go out and identify who you can get them and possibly start the conversation up of swaggering orders are kind of almost reserving certain amounts, so they kind of don't get stung if they get a proper price increase. So, it's been very interesting. And I have absolutely loved the business continuity aspect of it. And that's, to me listening as the layperson, I've never had never really talked to anybody involved in risk management. It sounds to me like you're the, the ducks in the row lady, would that be fair?

To a certain extent, risk management is about identifying risks, being able to quantify it, and how big it is, and when to take action to a level that's comfortable for you. And for things like this to be able to plan. So, if when event something happens, you have a plan in place, that you go, okay, it's happened, here's our plan. Let's get on with it, rather than the event happens. And we're looking at a blank sheet of paper and saying, what are we going to do?

Our businesses benefit from a risk management service.

They can, although many, many small businesses won't think it leads to them, as the risks are different from a large corporate, but there are risks that are very much pertinent to a small organisation. I've once had a conversation with a guy who just stood up at a networking meeting and was talking about his business and then announced that he in he had just had a new-born baby and have congratulated him afterwards. I said Here's your business and doing really, really well. Have you considered all the risks? And I said, what about if your baby falls ill or worse. And it was just an event that was so rough for him to actually imagine. And he said, Well, I'll be able to do nothing, I wouldn't be able to do anything in my business. And that's, that's the sort of thing as a smaller business owner, if we get illness in the family, and I've had it in my own business, when a parent has died, it kind of takes it out on you, you cannot focus on your business, but you actually have plans in place. We did the very next day after my father died. And we were putting some plans in place just to keep the business ticking over. Whilst I wasn't there. And it is so important, but we don't actually run to think about the loss or the death of a key worker within an organisation. And yet we should, we don't want to think about what are our promises burnt down? How can we carry on trading? What happens if we have a major data leak? That is just going to be a horrendous nightmare. What are the IT systems fail? And what if there's a terrorist attack? How can I get my staff to work from home? And these are so important for businesses of any size and the big businesses have got this and they will have they’re its disaster recovery plans in place? And all this but many small medium enterprises don't? Yeah. And so, I think there is scope out there for small businesses. And Russia, the big guys get all the good luck.

Actually, it's Yeah, it's putting it all into perspective for a split second, then you went from ducks in a row to doom and gloom. But it's got to be addressed, hasn't it? you've got to have that worst-case scenario, what's the worst case happens kind of situation?

Absolutely. And that's the problem with aspects of risk that doom and gloom and because I'm probably lived a career in internal gloom. And by having control measures, of course, there is a certainty at some point.

But you've got to minimise your rights and to minimise that impact. And to revert back to the happy ducks in a row scenario ASAP, I suppose so. And how did you get into this summer goes back a very long way. I would actually say I'm very, very lucky in that it was a career. But I had a lightbulb moment. I have a chemical engineering technical background. And I only got into that because someone said, there'll be more jobs in it probably wasn't the correct thing. And but one of the papers, or one of the subjects we studied, were things like process safely. And I find it very, very interesting to really undo or look at the anatomy of disasters, and there were many to look at. But there were things that were consistent, there were a number of themes that run through all of these events. And it was often that when it came to process, things were built down to a price. People didn't think how people should be working with the operating systems. And we also then looked at industrial disease, and how the effects of some industrial processes cause harm on people. So, I did this exam, and it was almost a lightbulb moment. And I can still see myself sitting at the desk, having completed the exam, and putting my pen down and thinking, this is not the last time I'm going to do a safety paper. And it rolls. This is what I want to do. And I finally got the role I wanted. And in fact, the job requirement was rather than having a specific health and safety qualification, the company wanted a chemical engineering qualification. And I think that's because they wanted someone who would be introduced to a plan on who wouldn't want to go, what's that? What's that? What's that? I was more of a case. I haven't seen one of those in real life and you see it in a book, right? And so, I developed it there and went into consultancy. And in a job when my boss new boss ran to offer me a job, he said dumb. Just think about risk management and beat me being really keen and wanting to impress my boss said, okay, we need to have a look at it. So, he persuaded me to do yet more exams in the real early stages of the profession of what we might call enterprise risk management. And so that's set me on a ride out from the world of health and safety. Now there are some skills that we can learn in health and safety that can be moved out into the world of generalist management. And those that can be, can come show back the other way. So, I've had these transferable skills, and throughout the 90s, and the 2000s. And onwards, as the profession has developed, I have gotten more and more into that more enterprise side of things, I enjoy talking to businesses about what they do, and what the potential there is for risk. And there's a whole range of ranging from your corporate level to kind of how an organisation is run, and selection of board directors, the role of the board and the how organisations run through to more technical things technical and operational, we might look at it with the power equipment in use, we'd look at premises and all of that through to looking at more kind of environmental hazards, not physical hazards. And so, we're all looking at those, including, I didn't do financial, but when route, look at some financial risk for me on the investment side.

Now I'm looking at your very impressive website, dare I say, tr s rm.co dot u. k, which represents the International School of risk management? When did you start this into this company, we leading the way?

Well, I think an upside of this pandemic sitting at home, and I was having a discussion with a colleague that I do work with. And he's, he's Nigerian. And we've been doing a little bit of work out in West Africa. And I've been doing a few webinars with him, which have been very interesting, and, and leads me to the scope of the International bit of the company. And he, he basically said, Mr. You really need to be more out there. And I thought, okay, that's, yeah, that's quite scary. And I thought about what he said, and I thought, I think it's time for a rebrand of my business. So I did have another business, but I decided to rebrand it, and came up and came up with the name the International School of risk management, because at that time, and I think that was the end of May June, I began to realise that as we got into zoom teams meetings, were Frank, and I thought, you don't have to just be in the UK to do this. You could reach so many other businesses, yeah, you can train you can support other businesses around the world. And so that's why I brought in the international book to it. And so far, I have done carried on doing work, particularly in in West Africa, but the potential is there to grow it just not in the UK than outside. And then course, when you're looking at certain areas of the world, you've got an awful lot of geopolitical risk, which is quite interesting.

Wow. Yeah. So, I mean, that's kind of nice. So, as a as a woman in business, then you've been on a bit of a journey yourself recently, and I guess a learning curve in in selecting the right people to work with, with regards to your digital marketing and things like that. Tell me how you made those decisions.

And yeah, part of that decision to rebrand. And the decision when Well, I'll just have to learn how to do a website of my own because of the cost. But then I thought I'd get home all about that loan, which I've made you so often, I thought, well, no, I think I'm actually going to get my website done professionally. And I picked up an ad on funky media, and on my local radio station sitting born FM. And I thought, well, this sounds this sounds like you it could be for me, it's very much about your business, website, social media, all that. And I'm thinking Yes, this is me. I don't do social media, Facebook, LinkedIn, all of that. But perhaps it's about time I did. And so, I came to funky media to have a conversation and find out what they could offer.

And then and the rest as they say is history. So, the projects involved I mean, I obviously slightly biased it looks rather impressive. So, if anybody wants to get in contact with you, they just need to visit tism.co.uk and get in contact with you. And from then on. So now as the business has been doing Developing things like that you've found that marketing, I guess that's almost like part of a risk assessment in its own right. Is it for your own business?

Well, absolutely. What I've not talked about and in terms of risk management is that we always tend to think of risk as being negative, the same skills and techniques can be applied. But when we look at the upside, and we call that upside risk, where we're looking to enhance the impacts of our work that make it more profitable, more successful, and increase the likelihood. So, marketing in this respect, and this is one of my upside risks, and marketing is very much part of that. So, I have, yeah, I've been taught how to upload blogs. And it's looking at the LinkedIn and the Facebook. And so it's just been nice to, to doing all of this and writing all of this, but now appreciating the function of what marketing means to the business, and you just can't do it for a bit, and then give up and then pick it up again, it's got to be ongoing.

Yeah, consistency gives you the results, doesn't it? Well, I really do like the idea of intermediate agency being an upside risk, I'm going to use that one. That sounds, that sounds very positive, and we've done full circle, then back to the ducks in a row. So do have a couple of top tips for other women in business following in your footsteps that you can share with us today.

Don't be afraid to poke your head above the parapet, I think. I think that's the first one. Get out there, I think in terms of social media is actually getting out there. And I think we do tend to hold ourselves back. And we really need to get out there. People do actually want to hear what you've got to say. and be confident. I am dealing with I'm in a group of other women that we're going through a training course at the moment. And they've all got the same kind of barriers, you've got to break through the limiting beliefs that you have about yourself. You can do this. Yeah, never be uncomfortable. But you can do this.

Yes, feel the fear and face it anyway.

What does the future hold for you at the moment? in the immediate short term? Is it very much COVID related at the moment with all the businesses? that you're working with?

You claimed off? Yes, there are the COVID-19 risk assessments, which I do a very good one. And you'll get very good structured organisation of ducks in a row. And I also I'm thinking because there are an awful lot of people working from home, I'm now working with some of my clients to do work at home risk assessments. So, the employer now can get a better idea of the workplace setup. And with that, some training, I'm also developing and virtual live training programmes and hopefully want to have an example on my website soon so you can see me in action, but I also will be developing online courses that are going to be interesting to watch and well prepared and lots of variety, whose there is just such a lot of stuff out there with varying quality. So, I actually wrote quite a course that have got the information quickly, and that the value and solves the viewers problems if they bought the course.

Cool. That sounds absolutely amazing. So just to remind we, then if people want to get in contact with you, they can visit your website which is www.tisrm.co.uk and you need to speak to Emma Cundiff about your risk management and she will be there to support you love the passion. Emma, thank you so much for the top tips as well. And we look forward to speaking to you again in the near future.

Emmas Details: 

www.tisrm.co.uk 

Book a consultation with Emma:

Office: (+44) 1795 858 062

Email: info@tisrm.co.uk

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