Have you ever thought much about the phrase “center of gravity?” While more often used in a physics context, the idea of center of gravity is a very interesting concept when applied to approaching risk-laced decisions at credit unions. Before I dive into the concept, however, let’s pull in a clear description of center of gravity. I like this one from Encyclopaedia Britannica:
Centre of gravity, in physics, is an imaginary point in a body of matter where, for convenience in certain calculations, the total weight of the body may be thought to be concentrated. The concept is sometimes useful in designing static structures or in predicting the behaviour of a moving body when it is acted on by gravity.
From the standpoint of approaching risk, leadership teams have something similar at play, a certain center of gravity with respect to how a team in aggregate tends to approach and make decisions involving risk. Consequently, a team’s center of gravity, like in the world of physics, can be used to identify if not predict the team’s behavior when acted upon by outside influences.
For purposes of illustration, consider two teams. One has a center of gravity that falls in a category we’ll call “wary” while the other is in a category we’ll call “composed.” What are the upsides and downsides of each team’s category type? Let’s take a look.*
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