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Inspiring commitment over compliance: the elusive dream of all risk managers

Why can’t risk management, crisis management, and business continuity be a rewarding experience that people actively desire to be involved with?

This question led us down a path of evaluating the phenomena of experience. What makes an experience good or bad or great? Why do we love some brands and hate others? Why do we join some groups and not others? Why do we love that cash-only, poor-service, overpriced empanada spot in a run-down building on the Lower East Side, but we would be outraged with the same service and accommodations at another restaurant?

Unlocking the answers to these questions begins with understanding your target audience.

  1. Who are they?
  2. What do they care about?
  3. What do they struggle with?
  4. Why should they care about your program?

While the Demand Model® evaluates the engagement level of an audience, the Experience Model™ gives us the tools to increase that demand.

Lootok’s Experience Model

Think of the participants in your risk program as an ethnographer would. Study them through interviews, survey data, job descriptions, and anecdotal feedback. From that investigation, a set of personas will emerge, each a representative of a segment of your audience defined by personalities, backgrounds, needs, expectations, and roles. One may be a novice business continuity coordinator, or an IT systems engineer, or a global program owner.

So, how many personas do you need to understand your program audience? It depends. The number correlates to the complexity of your audience and your program, but three personas are a good place to start for most risk programs. With those personas identified, we map the experience for each one—defining the steps they follow. A given journey can be six months, one year, or two years long. It all hinges on the structure and needs of your program.

Luckily, Lootok has devised seven universally relevant principles to guide you when mapping your program experience.

  1. Build a brand: Establish a brand/culture around your program that people can see and feel.
  2. Demonstrate value:  Find out what is important to your audience and demonstrate the value and benefits that your program provides.
  3. Define your universe:  Show your audience the journey that they are embarking on and what to expect.
  4. Show and reward progress:  Set up guideposts to help your audience know where they are in the journey and how they are doing.
  5. Foster trust:  Do what you say you are going to do. Be a reliable force in your audience’s life.
  6. Appeal to the five senses:  Everyone learns differently, so look for ways to trigger the senses and communicate in the language of your audience.
  7. Be interactive:  Make your experience interesting, fun, social, and engaging. Risk does not have to equal boring. Lootok’s ABdCa®
Lootok experience model

Pitfalls

Most risk programs err on the side of being event-driven, not experience-driven. By events we mean risk analyses, plans, exercises, claims, After Action Reviews (AARs), audits, insurance renewals, training, etc. While these events can fill up an annual calendar, they often do not hang together in a cohesive way. Program participants do not understand how they relate to one another and in most case do not see their value, outside of compliance.

By taking an experiential view, we underscore the connection among events, show their value, and support participants through their journey. Companies like Apple and Disney live by the Experience Model. Their brands have a totality to them, where you feel the continuity between online and offline experiences. Their story, message, and value are ever-present.

We understand that most risk programs are not abounding in staff. Don’t get overwhelmed. The first step is shifting your mindset away from compliance artifacts and events to a holistic view of your program experience. Then build your personas, and the rest will follow naturally. If you get stuck, we are here to help.

The upshot

  • Understand your audience before you do anything; speak their “language.”
  • Use the Demand Model in defining your personas.
  • Use Nudge techniques.
  • Map the experience journey of each persona.
  • Think in terms of an experience, not a series of events.
  • Use Activities to engage and enhance participation.

Enjoy – Sean

Lootok Experience Model