Reducing Damage Costs thru Unique Financial Approach to Non-Financial Risk



Guest: Jillian Hamilton

Presenter: Wayne Bucklar

Overview: Joining on Talkers.FM for the second time, Manage Damage founder, Jillian Hamilton talks about how they talk to CEOs and CFOs about risk dollarisation to see greater visibility to the true cost of damage. Manage Damage helps businesses reduce the cost of the damage by analysing a business’ risk portfolio and applying a financial approach to non-financial risk in business.

Guest Bio: Jillian Hamilton is the Managing Director of Manage Damage, an Australian risk management advisory firm. As a well-known speaker and mentor, her excellent ability to form positive relationships has made her known throughout the entrepreneurial world for being a great and insightful business leader. Her vast knowledge on health and safety has seen many businesses save millions of dollars in damage costs.


Wayne Bucklar:  You’re listening to Business Radio Talkers.FM. My name is Wayne Bucklar and today we welcome back a friend of the station who has been with us before, Jillian Hamilton, Managing Director of Manage Damage has been with us before on Talkers.FM. And today, she’s here to talk about a slightly different aspect of what Manage Damage does. Jillian, welcome back, it’s a pleasure to have you with us.

Jillian Hamilton:  Thank you so much Wayne, it’s great to be back.

Wayne:  Now Jillian, fill me in on this different aspect of Manage Damage. This financial, non-financial approach you’re talking about.

Jillian:  So Manage Damage is your unique risk management advisory firm. We actually have a financial approach to non-financial risk. So what we do is we actually cost health and safety environment and quality aspects of a business, the parts that normally not costed. So we gather the hearts, minds and pockets of the CEOs and CFOs and we talk to them about risk dollarization which is a financial approach to non-financial risk.

Wayne:  Now having worked in some government departments, I know that they take this approach sometimes and they’re very cautious about ever speaking out loud about this because everyone likes to think that the cost of human life is sacrosanct and you can’t put a value on that. But if you know that a particular traffic intersection is going to have 3 injury accidents per 10 million cars and you know the cost of reducing that’s going to be 100 million dollars, if you do the math, all of a sudden you end up with a financial figure. So do you find people reluctant to talk about putting a dollar figure on some of those human elements of business?

Jillian:  It’s interesting Wayne. None of us seem to have a problem about that talking about how much it cost when it’s far too late. So 60 billion dollars losses, Tesla lost 2% of its whole entire share funds because of an accident they had with their automatic car overnight. We have no problems talking about the cost when it’s far too late. So what we do is we encourage people to understand the cost of damage and also understand the benefits of managing their damage. So we can actually prove to businesses that it’s actually a positive return by managing the aspects of their business.

Wayne:  That’s a very interesting approach. Now you mentioned CFO’s before. Is it the CFO who gets it in a business? Is that who you have to talk to?

Jillian:  Normally, we speak to CEOs and CFOs. So if we spoke to the CEO, he says “What a great idea. Talk to my CFO, talk to my accounts team.” And we would spend some time with them looking at where the costs are coming from in the business and then we can start to work out why those things are happening. So we follow the money. We find out where the damages are coming from the cash and then we go back to the source and adjust those sources and then we end up with a better outcome for the workforce and the business. And so it’s a win-win for the worker and the business themselves.

Wayne:  Now Jillian, that sounds to me to be an eminently sensible approach. Why is it not common practice do you think?

Jillian:  Well look, 99% of safety professionals have never been invited to the boardroom and do not understand the finances of a business and neither invited or allowed to see the finances of a business. And what we try and do is help businesses lend up and lead up their middle management particularly in the safety and risk spaces to understand the commercial aspects of a business so that they can more greatly impact the positive outcomes for safety and risk in their business.

Wayne:  It is something I always find extraordinary. I was talking to someone the other day on air and they were saying that for all of the education that a doctor gets, for all of the years of school and university and all the rest of it, they never see a profit and loss or a balance sheet. And so when these professionals in their areas become involved in businesses, the business aspects are just our foreign language to them all together.

Jillian:  And it’s funny Wayne that you should talk about language. So we say that safety guys and girls are talking one language like they’re speaking Korean and the business people of the business, they’re speaking Chinese and together they have nothing in common. They see completely different versions and this different language is what we find is very problematic but we know that money is a common language for the whole of the world. And that people if they can’t speak English, they know full well what the price is on their payslip and we all know the value of a dollar and we know that we can together work for better outcomes.

Wayne:  I said to a friend of mine recently who was traveling in Asia, “How do you get on with the language differences?” He said, “Everyone speaks American Express.”

Jillian:  That’s true. And that’s where we got the name “risk dollarization” because businesses, countries who are in trouble financially and we think businesses that are in trouble for their safety and their risk cost, they go and apply the dollarization factor to a country and they give them the American dollar to make a security and a sanctity for that country. So we took the risk dollarization and we thought, “Let’s do the same thing for a business and cost this risk, add a new value and create a same-same language for the business leaders and also the safety professionals so they can understand each other.”

Wayne:  Jillian, is this a sort of service that you find strikes a chord in smaller businesses or is this something that you have to be a business for some size before it makes sense to you?

Jillian:  Look, I think we have found that it works for all different sizes on different scales of course. But we find that the greatest outcomes are for the larger businesses because they have bigger margins to lose and gain but even in very small businesses, we gather some very significant profit margin return that they didn’t know they had lost.

Wayne:  Right. And what leads them to you? Why would you think about taking a financial approach to non-financial matters? What leads those people to seek you out?

Jillian:  Look, I think people are coming to us because they’ve tried all the different approaches to safety and they just have not had an improvement in their business. And I think it’s been about 10 years since has been something new in safety. The last approach was “behavioral based safety” and we created this ‘risk dollarization’ just mid last year, late last year and as a result, we’ve got businesses interested and coming to us because they found that their other safety approaches or strategies have not seen any further improvements in their culture and haven’t seen any improvements in their current recorded or recording statistics of total recordable injury frequency rate or lost time frequency rate. And it’s because they’ve hit a bit of a lull and they think that they can’t go any lower but what we find is when we take a different approach, we have a whole new cultural aspect of view which has a new way of engaging the leaders that just haven’t heard it before or understood it.

Wayne:  I’ve occasionally talked to people in the mining industry and as you’d be aware, everyone who works in the mining industry talks about workplace health and safety often with the theme that it’s overdone, it’s in your face, it’s omnipresent and irritatingly restricting. I suspect that for a lot of those people in mining, the approach that you’re talking about would make a refreshing change?

Jillian:  It is absolutely new and refreshing and particularly, the operational people and like the leader business guys and the guys that do the work and run the operations, they currently everyday in their business are being asked about, “How many tons are you moving and what’s the profit and loss amount and all the numbers?” And when we include this as another line item, they just manage it as they do every other part of their business and it becomes simple instead of something new and additional that they have to learn that they’re not fully across.

Wayne:  Yes. That’s a that’s a very interesting approach and congratulations for coming up with something so innovative.

Jillian:  Thank you very much. We hope to make a global difference to people and we actually know that will benefit businesses and the workers which is why we think it has got quite a good knack.

Wayne:  Now Jillian, for people who are interested in reaching out to you, how can they get hold of you?

Jillian:  They can find us by visiting the Manage Damage website which is or they can send us email on [email protected] or they can call us on 1800 2MANAGE, that’s 1800 26 26 24 and we look forward to seeing what we can do confidentially for their business.

Wayne:  Jillian, thank you for that and thank you for being with us today. It’s been a fascinating chat.

Jillian:  Cheers Wayne, have a great day.

Wayne:  I’ve just been having a chat with Jillian Hamilton, Managing Director of Manage Damage and Manage Damage is based in Brisbane but they’re a global firm and they have a unique approach, a financial approach I guess to how you can manage risk. If you’ve just joined us and you’ve missed my chat, then we have a transcript on our website, you can read the whole interview again or we have an audio archive on Soundcloud, YouTube and iTunes where you can listen to the full interview. And you can access all those things through our website at If you are listening to us on social media, please remember all those little things down the bottom of the window – the smiles, the thumbs up, the likes, the subscribes. We like to know you’re listening and so click all those buttons for us. And if you got questions either for Jillian Hamilton of Manage Damage or for us at the station, just pop the question in any of the feedback chat areas on your social media, we monitor them all and we’ll either pass it on to Jillian to answer or we’ll get back to it ourselves. My name is Wayne Bucklar and you’re listening to Business Radio Talkers.FM.

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