Cura Risk Management Software, winner of the Management of Systems Award in the small enterprise category
Business objectives are the golden thread
Yes, Cura Risk Management is a software company but when it talks about integrating and linking systems, it isn’t speaking from a software perspective. It means business – the governance, risk and compliance (GRC business).
“Our focus is on making sure that our business objectives link throughout the entire organisation, and to our vision, mission and overall purpose,” says Jessica Knight, head of Strategy. “Without that systemic integration, you will have misalignment, duplicated work effort and inefficiencies. Those are things we try to overcome by making sure our objectives are the golden thread running through the business.”
Every activity and function of the company is linked to its objectives, of which it has two types: strategic objectives and Big Hairy Audacious Goals, or BHAGs.
The difference between them is that strategic objectives are specific, relatively attainable business goals, which then roll up into BHAGs, which are “slightly unattainable” so that the company never gets to the point where it has nowhere to go and nothing to strive for.
“BHAGs keep you moving forward and can catapult growth into a disruptive space,” says Jessica. One of its BHAGs, for instance, is to have a significant presence on each continent across the globe.
This might seem slightly unattainable for a small South African company but not impossible since Cura, founded in 2002, is already in Australia, India, Malaysia and the United States. That means there are only two continents still to go.
The company has several strategic tools that it uses to maintain that golden thread between what it does and the business objectives it strives for.
One is a stakeholder ecosystem analysis, where Cura breaks up its ecosystem into all stakeholders affecting and affected by its business, now and in the future. It has 27 to 30 stakeholder relationships and it has linked every one of them to its business objectives and assigned a level of importance to each stakeholder role.
“In this way, we can assess what each stakeholder would like from us now and in the future, and how we can serve each stakeholder, now and in the future,” says Jessica. Another key tool for keeping that golden thread going is Cura’s strategy document, which is constantly being reviewed and refined, and now runs into over 80 pages. “It never stops,” she says. “We are now in a very dynamic time and we are a small business but very complex. We need a detailed, dynamic tool to manage that.”