I love to cook; my husband loves to eat out. We both like good food. And with both, there are leftovers. He will eat leftovers until green and fuzzy things start growing as long as the food is refrigerated in a Ziploc freezer bag. He has inventory control–First In, First Out. I will eat leftovers for about two days. I always envision the day he will get virulent food poisoning, but in 15 years, it has never come. I, on the other hand, fear invisible stuff lurking within that translates to food poisoning, so after about two days, I throw things out, Ziploc freezer bag or not. Obviously, we each have a different take on the risk of getting sick.
Cooking entails grocery shopping, and I sometimes stock up on staples (e.g., frozen vegetables, pie crusts) for later use. And sometimes I use only part of what I buy for a particular recipe. My husband doesn’t understand why I don’t use everything in the refrigerator, freezer, or pantry before shopping again. However, it’s important to me to have certain items on hand for when the urge to cook strikes or we perhaps have a last minute dinner guest.
He does, however, have a point. Food and money does go to waste because I won’t eat those restaurant leftovers or any leftover after two days. So two nights ago I decided to be a better steward of our food resources in preparing dinner. I pulled out a frozen pie shell (at the end of its freezer life), grabbed some frozen herbs and onions, sautéed them with some fresh spinach just starting to turn (but not quite ready for that Ziploc freezer bag), and added some shredded cheese remnants, some cottage cheese with a “use by” date of that day, and some eggs and voilà–a wonderful spinach quiche! A great use of resources, a bit of thinking outside the box, a mitigation of risk because nothing was too old to eat to make us sick . . . add a nice glass of wine and the result was a successful dinner.
But what does this have to do with banking? Each of your team may have a different view on managing resources and taking risks. Some of your team are bigger risk takers and only react when they actually see something occurring (like green fuzz growing on bread). Others, like me, are much more cautious and will stop taking risks in the event there “may” be something occurring. Neither is incorrect. The key to managing your risks is to openly talk about each style and each concern, and when risks are managed correctly, the outcome is something very successful. Like a great spinach quiche!
The Risk Advisory Services team at Wipfli welcomes your thoughts and concerns on risk management. Please feel free to contact your Wipfli representative or myself at firstname.lastname@example.org. And yes, the leftover quiche is in a freezer bag, secure in the freezer for safe consumption later!