Jillian Hamilton | Managing Director | Manage Damage

For a leader, leadership is a process of constant learning which strengthens by an unwavering commitment to development and collaboration. One such leader is Jillian Hamilton, who believes good leadership is a lifetime work that requires continual learning, supporting others, and having a perspective to understand which things are really important. She is the Managing Director of Manage Damage, a risk management advisory firm that focuses on the true cost of risk, working with clients to provide their business with specialist advisors who can drive your efficiency, productivity and profitability.

Below are the highlights of the interview conducted between Insights Success and Jillian Hamilton:

Describe your background and what did you do before you started or came into this business? 

I started my career in Risk Management by chance – I had just come back from overseas and a friend needed me to help her with the accounts on a civil construction site. It wasn’t long until the Project Manager suggested I took the Safety Committee Meeting Minutes, as he could see I had a good demeanour with all different people on the site. Later on, they needed a Safety and Environment Officer and as I had an environmental background he appointed me and placed me on a WHS Officers course. This was my new found profession – I really never looked back after working on Australia’s largest remediation project at the time then elevated to oversee a few more Remediation projects of as I learnt more and more;

I then transferred to another company which was a Tier One Builder and completed some Australian Defence work buildings and then worked in demolition, safety in design, Greenstar building and high rise.

I was then asked to work in Western Australia in the mining industry undertaking a State Safety Manager position for a then thriving blue chip mining and infrastructure company; a few years later I took a temporary assignment in a national rail position but found my greatest role in a large multi-state now multinational labour hire company.

The dynamics were fast, furious and fantastic – I learnt so much from the entrepreneurial leaders and this paved my way to found Manage Damage an entity to assist business borrow the expertise they needed for just the time they needed; later we developed our first patent Risk Dollarisation® and delivered our book and process now worldwide to various levels of business and even government clients.

What people, what books, what life factors have influenced and impacted you? 

My father is a farmer – he works from sun-up to sun-down to feed his cattle, plant his crops, check his fences, plan the shearing or use the horses to move the stock around and ensure the waters. I really watched, learned and even worked with my parents from a young age to learn the ethics of work, hard decent, honest and ethical work. I saw that if you work hard and keep doing it day in day out and prepare your ground and care for it and respect it, and help your neighbours that when there is a bushfire – they will help you.

Every person I met gave me a piece of themselves – they helped me see the world through their glasses. Later I wanted to do this through my work, so we started to export Manage Damage services and found the application worked even better overseas than locally! So now my international clients and colleagues help mould the version of me.

From a business perspective and risk approach I am on constant readiness to be inspired by another view and aspect that helps solve problems. I really found a love to eat elephants – if you had a problem; I wanted it to solve it for you and for me!

What is the operating philosophy and cutting-edge solutions/services that the company has been built on? 

We create new descriptors, with additional and specific costs/values rather than the current values of safety – TRIFR, LTIFR and other malleable reporting values (nonfinancial).

The Risk Dollarisation® method increases the importance and understanding of the current non-financial functions of a business. This is because they are now represented in financial terms. This approach allows the leaders of business who think in dollar terms and financials terms every day to know and understand the true cost of Damage Costs.

This approach challenges the concept of assigning costs, people and damage in one conversation. Currently, businesses only become comfortable talking about the costs of risk when there is a catastrophe and everyone says, “We should never do that again!”

Risk Dollarisation® allows a business to accept that Damage Costs can be identified, assessed and managed at all stages of a business, not just at catastrophic moments. The Risk Dollarisation® moral imperative is to drive activity of stakeholders in the business financially. If you understand this and realign the approach it will mean safety gets a seat at the table and is spoken in language that is understood. We are completely simplifying/demystifying safety & making it meaningful/practical. It’s not magic – it’s simple economics & measurement – marked measured & managed.

What is your vision for the company for the next five years? 

Manage Damage will remain sharp on all edges – we are launching a new app which will have some useful practical tools for business to manage risk without specific one on one guidance… we are also working on a new Global Safety Governance Offering so standby for this one.

As a Managing Director, describe a challenge you overcame. 

I think if any Managing Director doesn’t let you know that they overcome challenges daily; they are really having a lend! The greatest challenge at the moment is really staying abreast of the macro and micro economic forces at play in our global business environments – the speed of change is so great – but the CV19 environment adds a whole new level – still waiting for my Truman Show Contract. We are on a reality TV show right now – right?

How do you sustain your entrepreneurial/leadership spirit in this changing technological era? 

What’s to sustain? – this is the most exciting moment in our lifetimes for tech growth, changes, leaps and bounds – never has the speed of change had such a profound effect on the rate and output in development – there is so much happening – I am just crossing my fingers that holograms get so good that I can consult globally without a 42hr transit; or heck – when’s this “teleportation” they speak of is actually going to work – if I was an airline or cruise ship company right now I’d consider a pivot to this work?!!

What advice would you like to give to the emerging business leaders? 

I think you have to remember before you start; fill your pockets with as much cash as you can, clear your debt, plan your path, prepare your whole business before you start, get yourself a crash hat, get a mouth guard fitted and get ready to hussle harder than you ever have before. This is a tough ride where the wins are like gold and the losses make you be glad you bought a crash hat!

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