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Dr Ruth Murray-Webster

Dr Ruth Murray-Webster is an experienced consultant and practitioner in the areas of risk and organisational change. She works part-time as Group Head of Risk for Associated British Ports and in the remainder of her time supports a wide range of clients with specific risk and change related challenges through her consultancy, Potentiality UK.
Ruth has 30 years of experience in a series of roles to enable organisations in most sectors to deliver change objectives.
Along this journey, Ruth researched organisational change from the perspective of the recipients of change for an Executive Doctorate at Cranfield School of Management. Ruth’s parallel interest in risk management arose from a passion to help organisations to take educated risks, not avoid them. She has co-authored four books on the people aspects of risk management with David Hillson (Understanding and Managing Risk Attitude, 2007; Managing Group Risk Attitude, 2008; A Short Guide to Risk Appetite, 2012), and Penny Pullan (A Short Guide to Facilitating Risk Management, 2011) and more recently two book chapters for Kogan Page specifically on the subject of risk and organisational change. She was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Association for Project Management in 2013 for her services to risk and change. The synergies between the two disciplines continue to drive Ruth’s thinking, writing and practice.
Ruth’s is currently working on a number of assignments with clients to help them make sense of disruptive trends / emerging risks. It is important for Ruth that ‘uncertainty that matters’ (Hillson) is seen as either potential opportunities to exploit or potential threats to defend. Helping clients make sense of emerging, perhaps peripheral risks relies on great facilitation, explicit understanding of risk appetite and putting in place processes and skills that see innovation and control as two halves of the same coin.

Session title: It’s all about the people – no engagement, no sense

SynopsisIn this session, Dr Ruth Murray-Webster, HonFAPM and Certified Risk Manager will share her experience of engaging others to identify, own and manage risk.  We are all familiar with the term ‘garbage-in – garbage out’.   When it comes to risk analysis some argue that it is worse than that and we can get ‘garbage in – gospel out’, i.e. senior leaders believe and make vital decisions on the outputs from deeply flawed risk analysis.
So what can we do to make sure that people are engaged and that the insights they provide into risk analysis are as rational and informed as possible given that people are ‘Predictably Irrational’ (Ariely, 2010)?This session will explore approaches and techniques that have been demonstrated to have value over multiple sectors and types of projects and programmes.

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