A leadership development resource

from the Institute for Leadership Excellence & Development Inc.

Volume VII

Number 7

On the Horizon This Issue:

"But It's Not My Fault!"
One way to respond to a risk is to transfer it to someone else. But what if they don't deliver?

Company Meeting Coming Up?
Let your meeting planner know about us! We can help your meeting be a great success!

This Issue's Freebie: Risk Management webcast
Join me for a webcast on risk management.

Card Corner: Available outside the U.S.
Learn how you can use this service even if you don't live in the U.S.

View Andy Kaufman's profile on LinkedIn

Join my list of friends on Facebook!



  [Risks]  [Meeting Planners]  [Freebie]  [Card Corner]  [The Institute Online] 


"But It's Not My Fault!"

The Risk of Transferring Risks

by Andy Kaufman


Words: 510

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Rarely is it good news when the letter begins "Dear Sir or Madam".

The letter continues, "We are writing to let you know that computer tapes containing some of your personal information were lost while being transported to an off-site storage facility by our archive services vendor."

We've received this particular sort of notice from two organizations in the last 12 months.

"If you choose to transfer a risk, you better be sure it's handled well. If not, it comes back to bite you."

They go on to tell us how they have no reason to think someone is collecting our social security benefits in the Ukraine right now. To make it up to us, they'll give us the same deal the other company who lost our information offered: 24 months of free access to a credit monitoring service.
I'm good for 4 years at this point!

We Live in a Risky World

The reality is mistakes happen. I get that.

But the situation offers an important lesson about risk management: If you choose to transfer a risk, you better be sure it's handled well. If not, it comes back to bite you.

project management keynote, risk management keynoteDid you notice how the letter politely points the finger to their archive services vendor? They try to assure us how "protecting the confidentiality of...all our clients' information...has long been a top priority.... However, our archive services vendor...."

We want to exclaim, "But it's not my fault!" and blame someone else.

It's nothing new. Dell pointed the finger at Sony when they had battery issues. Ford blamed Firestone. Beatles fans blame Yoko. Everyone blames Bush.

Yet blaming ultimately doesn't fix the problem.

Transferring Risk

The Project Management Institute identifies "transference" as a valid strategy for dealing with risks. We do it all the time. Insurance is a classic transference strategy.

You may have a risk that would be better handled by another department in your company. But don't take their nodding head as a guarantee they will deliver.


  • Make sure they have clear understanding of what is required.
  • Check in at agreed upon intervals to track progress against objective measures.
  • Foster rapport so there are minimal obstacles to information flowing between the groups.
  • Have a "plan B" just in case.

Good risk management practices can help you navigate the risky world we live in.

Project management keynote, risk management keynoteWe can help you and your team learn practical risk management skills. Contact us today about our keynotes and workshops that take formal risk management out of the realm of the academic and into practical steps you and your team can take, regardless of your organization's culture.

We can help minimize the chance you will be writing a letter opening with, "Dear Sir or Madam...."

Want to Learn More?

We live in a risky world. How about some practical training on how to deal with risks?

On Thursday, September 18, 2008, at 11:00am Central, I will be sharing practical strategies for dealing with risks in a webcast: What You Need to Know About Risk Management. There is no charge for subscribers to Horizon Time.

Click here to register for this webcast. I look forward to meeting you!

elearning (e-learning) to help you manage conflict from keynote speaker Andy KaufmanTo your success,

keynote speaker Andy Kaufman

Andy Kaufman

Speaker, Author, Consultant

President, Institute for Leadership Excellence & Development Inc.

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Bring Andy in For Your Upcoming Company Meeting

Many organizations will be gathering their teams in the coming months to close out the current year and start the new one with momentum. Whether you go offsite or have your meeting in-house, the Institute has keynotes that can help you make your event a great success!

Here are some helpful links:

  • Click here to view some sample clipsMeeting Planner resources. Let the person organizing your meeting know about this link. We are very meeting planner friendly, and can help them organize a great session!

  • Sample videos. Wonder what it would be like to bring Andy in for your group? Check out our sample videos including the recently published clips from his keynote "Lipstick on a Pig."

We work with business professionals around the world who are struggling with how to deliver projects and lead teams. We help you get focused, take action, and achieve stellar results.

From keynotes & workshops delivered at your company to one-on-one coaching for project managers and sponsors, contact the Institute today for details on how we can help you and your organization deliver.

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This Month's Freebie


What You Need to Know About Risk Management

As a thank you for subscribing to our newsletter, here's this month's special offer.

Join me on Thursday, September 18, at 11:00am Central. I will be hosting a free webcast on the essentials of risk management.

Too often risk management comes off as academic. You will leave with practical strategies that you can implement regardless of your corporate culture.

Click here to register. I look forward to meeting you! Thank you for subscribing to Horizon Time!

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Card Corner:

Available Outside the U.S.

Send Out Cards by Andy KaufmanIn a world overflowing with e-clutter, how do you stand out from the crowd? Whether it is to congratulate, thank, celebrate, or encourage, sending a real card helps you get listened to despite all the noise of e-mail, e-cards, and text message alternatives.

You have always been able to send cards anywhere in the world through Send Out Cards. In fact, you can be a distributor (allowing you to create a passive income stream to supplement your current paycheck) if you live in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Ireland, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

For a while now Send Out Cards has put a Canadian postmark on cards sent to Canadian addresses. Now this same capability is being rolled out in Australia.

Whether or not you live in these countries, now is a great time to learn more about this relationship-building tool.

Contact me and I'll personally walk you through the system. You can send a card for free and learn how to show people you care, whether friends, family, or work associates, in a whole new way.

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Stay in Touch!

Horizon Time is written by Andy Kaufman and is available via e-mail or on the Web for all who register.  You are invited to forward this to anyone interested in growing their leadership skills!


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