Applying a Risk-Aware Frame to Your Nonprofit’s Most Impactful Decisions

Many nonprofit leaders might not think about risk until a board member or committee asks them to or an unanticipated development or event disrupts operations. A risk-aware approach can help your nonprofit make better decisions in all aspects of its work. Bringing a risk lens to your work doesn’t have to be taxing or complex. … Continued

How To: Create a Cross-Training Action Plan

Cross-training is an essential risk management function. It ensures someone in your organization can perform key tasks if the person who usually handles them is out of the office or unavailable for any reason. But cross-training has other benefits too: it can offer employees new challenges, help reduce staff turnover, and break down silos in … Continued

How to Build Your Nonprofit’s Resilience

A resilient organization has a strong foundation to weather adversity and bounce back better. With forethought and planning, all organizations can become more resilient. Here are nine ways to do it. Don’t rely on one source for your organization’s essentials. Have multiple sources for your nonprofit’s key supplies and services. If your nonprofit is small and … Continued

Live Long and Prosper: Strategies for Longevity in Risk and Life

By Melanie Lockwood Herman When NRMC meets with prospective consulting clients, they almost always express concern about sustaining their risk management efforts. We hear things like: “We were full speed ahead when we began our ERM program a few years back, but it has withered on the vine. We need to build something that is … Continued

2020 Risk Forecast: Risk Trends Facing Nonprofits

The jovial celebration of each passing year also ushers in a sense of unease and uncertainty: what will we face next? In 2020, nonprofit teams face new risks brought on by global megatrends as well as a few familiar risks that continue to morph and present new challenges. The NRMC team anticipates these risk trends … Continued

Announcing New HR and Risk Resources

NRMC has launched a new website,, full of free resources to help nonprofit organizations manage the HR and risk issues they face. Join us for a tour of the site and tips to help you improve human resources and risk management at your nonprofit in 2023. Complete a short form and view the webinar … Continued

The Top 10 of NRMC’s 2022 RISK eNews

By Rachel Sams This year, nonprofits faced new and ongoing challenges, from international conflict to inflation to rising demand for services. We worked with clients to meet these challenges and many more while staying true to their missions and strategizing for the future. Risk leaders found this year that it was important to have a … Continued

The Secrets of Effective Risk Communication

“Clear, concise, accurate, and timely information is hard to come by.” – General Stanley McChrystal & Anna Butrico, Risk: A User’s Guide By Melanie Lockwood Herman During three decades of advising nonprofit sector leadership teams, we have heard and seen that many groups run out of time for candid conversations about risk and spin their … Continued

Make Progress in Your Risk Program Real, Not a Mirage

By Melanie Lockwood Herman In their terrific book, Risk: A User’s Guide, authors McChrystal and Butrico describe “structure” as one of 10 dimensions of building a “Risk Immune System.” But they caution readers that changing the structure of a function may not necessarily mean the function is improving. Experienced nonprofit leaders know the illusion and … Continued

How to Be the Manager You Wish You Had

by Melanie Lockwood Herman “There are two important days in a person’s life—the day you are born and the day that you figure out why.” – Mark Twain During the past few weeks, I’ve finished two books that offer thought-provoking insights on managerial musts—and potential missteps—in the journey to a post-COVID-19 workplace. Becoming a better … Continued

From Worry to Action

Worried about risk? Use this 5-step worksheet to create a basic action plan for risks and worries that your nonprofit is facing.

How To Take More Risks In Your Leadership

By Rachel Sams When I led a newsroom, I learned from staff feedback that my team wanted more support from me. Our news organization had a lot of change initiatives. I spent time with my bosses to understand what changes were coming and plan how the newsroom could cover them. I worked to protect my … Continued

Risk Lessons from a Wilderness Survival Expert

By Melanie Lockwood Herman Recently I hosted wilderness survival expert Laura Handley while she was in town guiding a crew of day campers in a program sponsored by the nonprofit land trust in my village. Handley is a writer, hiker, and forager who once hiked to the highest points in 38 states in a four-month … Continued

Learning Bites, Courtesy of Shark Week

By Melanie Lockwood Herman A member of my immediate family—who would prefer not to be named (or shamed) in this article—is so fearful of sharks that they find it impossible to consume any of the fascinating programs featured during “Shark Week” on the Discovery Network. I’m the opposite. A global pandemic interrupted my 2020 plans … Continued

Traveling via TARDIS: Managing Risk with the Risk Time Machine

Prepare for risk events while traveling in style and across time like The Doctor. Doctor who, you ask? This time The Doctor is YOU! Attend this webinar to learn how to use NRMC’s Risk Time Machine worksheet to assess a specific risk while practicing both reflection and foresight. Learn how to lead a team through … Continued

Telescope, Microscope, Hamster Wheel: Choose the Right Tools, Discard the Rest

By Melanie Lockwood Herman My Dad took pride in his collection of well-made, always organized shop tools. He loved showing me the cross pein pin hammer that was part of the set he purchased as a young aircraft mechanic apprentice. He’d explain that his original toolset lasted because the tools were well made. After dropping … Continued

Uncertain, but Unafraid

By Melanie Lockwood Herman This week I reflected on the familiar practice of making risk lists. New consulting clients often share the results of their earnest attempts to list a litany of ‘what if’ events. As my team gets underway with a Risk Assessment or ERM engagement, we are often asked if we will examine … Continued

For Granted

By Melanie Lockwood Herman During one of my favorite episodes of The West Wing, President Bartlet remarks, “The most costly disruptions always [happen] when something we take completely for granted stops working for a minute.” Risk leaders around the globe continue to champion building resilient systems, support, and strategies. These leaders know that accurately forecasting … Continued

Fuzzy Futures: Managing Uncertainty with Scenario Planning

Events like the COVID-19 pandemic provide sobering wake-up calls to nonprofit leaders, who must execute their missions today and tomorrow despite unnervingly uncertain futures. To better prepare for surviving unpredictable, unthinkable events or futures far from today’s reality, watch this webinar to learn about the art of scenario planning. Leave the webinar with a basic … Continued

A Happier Hybrid: Managing The Risks of Hybrid Work

By Rachel Sams You likely worry about how hybrid work affects your nonprofit‘s employees. Then you probably get pulled right into the day’s crises or priority tasks. Crafting a smart hybrid work approach that fits your nonprofit sounds daunting. But excluding digital security, the big challenges of hybrid work center around office culture, productivity, and … Continued

How to Be Productively Positive, Not Pollyanna

“Being human means making space for the positive, the negative, and everything in between.” – Whitney Goodman By Melanie Lockwood Herman I’ve recently finished two books that inspired me to question my impulsive inclination to look for silver linings behind every cloud. Both books offer thought-provoking insights for leaders seeking to be appropriately positive without … Continued

Cultivate Curiosity to Fuel Risk-Aware Thinking

By Melanie Lockwood Herman “The world’s biggest untapped source of energy isn’t in the wind, water, or sun. It’s inside established organizations. These organizations. . .are populated with people who, like all people, entered the world naturally curious and creative. That curiosity and creativity has been blunted and constrained, but it is there.” – Eat, … Continued

Innovation and Risk Management: Perfect Partners or Strange Bedfellows?

By Melanie Lockwood Herman My sense of self is that I’m hard-wired to be logical and stubborn. If I could re-wire my brain, I’d pick new wires associated with creativity and flexibility. I studied oil painting a few years ago and produced a couple of pieces that were passable for amateur landscapes. But in retrospect, … Continued

With Regret

By Melanie Lockwood Herman “Human beings are impressive creatures. We can fly planes, compose operas, and bake scones. But we generally stink at divining what other people think and anticipating how they will behave. Worse, we don’t realize how inept we are at these skills.” – Daniel Pink, The Power of Regret If you’re a … Continued

Call It What It Is: Organizational Trauma Isn’t Burnout

By Rachel Sams One night a client attacks another client at the nonprofit where you work. You don’t hear about it for days—and then only through office gossip. Your nonprofit’s leaders brush off frontline employees’ demands for paid leave. A constant low boil of anger simmers in the break room. Your boss says you must … Continued

Story Time: Risk Lessons from My Pandemic Reading List

Join the Nonprofit Risk Management Center’s CEO, Melanie Lockwood Herman, for a “story time” tour through her recently-favorited risk-related reads, all of which she absorbed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Explore lessons from inspiring leadership development books and other popular titles, and learn how Melanie applies these insights to the discipline of risk management. Leave the … Continued

Relinquish Relics

By Melanie Lockwood Herman Last week I was reminded of a relic from the ‘before times’ when a colleague asked me about ordering business cards for our newest team member. The arrival of these tiny cards—descendants of calling cards used by aristocrats in 17th century Europe—has been a symbol of being a member of our … Continued

Keep it Real: Choose Rational Risk Resolutions

By Melanie Lockwood Herman It’s that wonderful time of year when nonprofit leaders (and everyone else!) get busy making lists of the things we aspire to do, resolve to do, and sometimes actually accomplish. The act of sharing goals and resolutions with a friend or colleague may increase our motivation to be resolute and accountable. … Continued

The Top 10 of 2021’s RISK eNews  

In 2021, the world entered the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many nonprofits began to hit their stride. Most risk leaders became more familiar and comfortable approaching risks with a novelty that constantly shifting plans required. The NRMC team was excited to offer our members, readers, and clients practical tips throughout the year. The … Continued

Dream a Little Dream With Me: Channeling Chaos

By Melanie Lockwood Herman The word chaos has myriad negative connotations: confusion, disruption, frustration. Many risk leaders expect that evolving risk management capabilities will bring order, formality, and cadence. My team fields question after question about managing risk more effectively; no one has ever asked us to help a risk team create disorder from order … Continued

Growing Up Fast: Risk Program Maturity

By Melanie Lockwood Herman This week, on my daughter’s 24th birthday, I was reminded of how quickly time passes. So many milestones in her life seem like they happened moments ago: her first Halloween-themed birthday party, the first day of kindergarten, first dance recital, and so on. During our birthday chat, I refrained from the … Continued

Reimagine Your Risk Roundtable

By Melanie Lockwood Herman During NRMC consulting engagements and conversations with our Affiliate Members, our team often hears about the work and deliberations of risk teams. During the Virtual Risk Summit, I was delighted to join my colleague Ann Terlizzi, Director of Risk Management at Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, for a fast-paced session we … Continued

Whether it’s Pastry or Risk Process, Use a Light Touch for a Perfect Result

By Melanie Lockwood Herman If you’ve ever served a pie whose crust was tough instead of flaky, you may have overworked the dough before baking. This frequent error can happen when you’re mixing the dough or when you’re rolling and shaping it. Experienced bakers learn that a light touch is the secret ingredient to memorable … Continued

Make Patience a Prerequisite

By Melanie Lockwood Herman While visiting my parents in the lovely coastal town of Falmouth, MA, I’ve observed two distinct types of drivers. The first type of driver pulls onto the main roadway, seemingly unaware (or unconcerned) that drivers with the right of way must brake to avoid a collision. This first type of driver … Continued

Warning Signs: Channeling Cassandra to Fortify Your Mission

By Melanie Lockwood Herman I’ve just finished a fascinating book about real-world “Cassandras” – prophets of myriad disasters, who, like the Cassandra of Greek Mythology, were ignored, ridiculed, and ultimately proven prescient. In Warnings: Finding Cassandras to Stop Catastrophes, Richard A. Clarke and R.P. Eddy take the reader on a tour that includes chapters about … Continued

Doing Nothing Might Be Worth the Risk

By Melanie Lockwood Herman The looming “turnover tsunami” has caused many nonprofit leaders to clutch at ways to retain the competent workforce they’ve built over the years. Recently, our team has advised both consulting clients, affiliate members, and Risk eNews readers about the range of actions to prepare for inevitable departures (See “Turnover Truths and … Continued

Chunk Change: Ask for Less to Get More

By Melanie Lockwood Herman I’ve just finished reading Jonah Berger’s book, The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone’s Mind. Two compelling takeaways were Berger’s suggestions that leaders 1. Ask for less to get more, and 2. Break big asks into smaller, more manageable ‘chunks.’ He offers the following advice for anyone having a difficult time persuading … Continued

Focus on Residual Resilience, Not Residual Risks

By Melanie Lockwood Herman & Erin Gloeckner What value does your organization derive from risk management? Controlling specific financial losses and harm? Or cultivating a capacity for resilience no matter what losses or liability might arise? Risk management often looks at singular risks inside a vacuum, determining why each risk is bad, how bad, and … Continued

Perfect is the Mortal Enemy of the Good: Why Minimum Viable Risk Practices are Perfect

By Melanie Lockwood Herman Seasoned hiring managers and interviewers often listen carefully for an interviewee’s response that acts as a red flag waving “don’t hire this person!” For me, it’s a statement like this: “I’m a perfectionist,” or “My biggest weakness is that I don’t want to stop working on something until I get it … Continued

The Resilience Mindset: 7 Musts if Your Mission Matters

By Melanie Lockwood Herman and Whitney Thomey Across the vibrant and diverse nonprofit sector in the U.S. and internationally, leaders and teams are recognizing that we’re not going back. Initial thoughts of returning to a pre-pandemic state are dissipating as we collectively grasp the significant implications of a risk event for which an entire world … Continued

Lessons from the Pandemic: On the Road to the Next New Normal

Risk programs have been forced to adapt rapidly during the pandemic. All nonprofits have had to pivot in myriad ways to respond to the ever-changing situation. This “Black Swan” event left many nonprofits scrambling to adapt risk assessments, policies and procedures, and risk management practices. In this webinar, we explore graceful adaptations and silver linings … Continued

Spring Planting: Finding Inspiration to Spruce Up Your Risk Management Program

By: Katharine Nesslage Every spring, I get an itch to spruce up my home and garden with colorful, cheerful plants. Similarly, risk leaders often feel inspired to do some spring cleaning and infuse their risk programs with new practices to make them brighter and more impactful. To scratch my gardening itch, I visited an outdoor … Continued

Take a Hike! (around Your Risk Landscape)

“Seek to understand your context better. Things that are out of place in a context bear closer inspection.” – Karl E. Weick & Kathleen M. Sutcliffe, Managing the Unexpected By Melanie Lockwood Herman Environmental, climate, and weather-related risks often occupy prominent positions on the risk lists at nonprofit organizations. The NRMC team refers to these … Continued

Humble Haiku’s Mighty Lessons for Risk Leaders

By Whitney Claire Thomey This Saturday is International Haiku Poetry Day, leading me to reflect on the lessons I’ve learned from this simple form of poetry—the humble haiku. If you’re wondering how this pint-sized poem has the potential to teach risk leaders important lessons about evolving organizational risk practices, I invite you to read on! … Continued

Choose Your Own Adventure to Risk and Reward

By Melanie Lockwood Herman If you’ve ever faced a personal crisis or a crisis at your organization, you know how all-consuming and paralyzing it can be. It’s hard to see beyond the hour or the day when the bad news keeps coming. During these stressful moments, you may find yourself flip-flopping between options or second-guessing … Continued

Do This, Not That: 5 Essential Risk Policy Drafting Tips

By Melanie Lockwood Herman This week I’ve been busy helping consulting clients and Affiliate Members make sense of (and hopefully improve!) an array of longstanding risk-themed policies, from employee handbooks to vendor contracts and risk-scoring frameworks. In between writing and re-writing, I was able to finish an insightful book that I mentioned last week, Essentialism: … Continued

Choose Essential: Define Your Singular Risk Priority

By Melanie Lockwood Herman This week I’ve been reading Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. The book’s themes touch on a prickly subject for me: saying “no.” A very wise friend once told me that we often say yes out of fear that if we say no, we won’t get asked again. … Continued

Round and Round: The Leadership Learning Loop

By Melanie Lockwood Herman This past weekend I listened to a compelling interview with Katlin Smith on the NPR program “How I Built This,” hosted by Guy Raz. Smith founded Simple Mills while working as a management consultant at Deloitte and attending the first year of an MBA program. Per the company’s website, “Simple Mills … Continued


By Whitney Claire Thomey “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” – Anne Lamott When you find yourself traveling at the speed of risk, is it necessary to stay plugged in to organization communications, local and world news feeds, and updates from social media?  Staying “on” all … Continued

Do What You Love, Love What You Do

By Melanie Lockwood Herman During our Zoom Family Meeting on Valentine’s Day, I made my siblings and parents laugh out loud when I told them that I was spending the day with my one true love… my job! Since we are obsessive Life360 members who track each other’s comings and goings, they already knew that … Continued

Toss the Register, Make a Plan Instead

By Melanie Lockwood Herman One of the most common risk management tools is a detailed list or inventory of ‘threats’ facing an organization. Many risk leaders refer to their ever-expanding, sometimes colossal spreadsheet as a “risk register.” During our 25 years of guiding risk teams through risk analysis, we’ve discovered that risk inventories and registers … Continued

It’s About Time

By Whitney Claire Thomey I recently succumbed to a barrage of ads and installed Blinkist on my phone. If you haven’t heard, this app is a crib-notes tool for lovers of nonfiction audiobooks. The app distills a vast array of nonfiction books into 15-minute soundbites. The app’s bold promise? To turn your unallocated time into … Continued

What We’re Learning from our Favorite Recent Reads

Join this webinar to learn interesting insights, thought-provoking ah-ha moments, and tangible takeaways from our favorite ‘reads’ from the past year. Learn lessons from philosophers across the ages, modern-day leadership gurus, and even a rocket scientist. Leave this webinar with newfound inspiration to lead the risk team in your organization.

Book Smart, Part 2: “Ah-Ha” Moments from a Year of Reading Well

By Melanie Lockwood Herman As I shared last week, the term “book smart” is an adjective meaning “Having knowledge acquired from books or study; scholarly, bookish; frequently implying lack of common sense or worldliness.” (Source: Lexico.) And although ‘book smart’ is often a pejorative term, my bias is that reading is the ultimate learning tool. … Continued

Book Smart: Lessons from a Year of Reading Well

By Melanie Lockwood Herman According to Lexico, a collaboration between and Oxford University Press, the term “book smart” is an adjective meaning “Having knowledge acquired from books or study; scholarly, bookish; frequently implying lack of common sense or worldliness.” Although ‘book smart’ is often a pejorative term, my bias is that reading is the … Continued

3 Ways to Leverage Powerful Lessons

“Experience is inevitable. Learning is not.” – Paul J. H. Schoemaker By Melanie Lockwood Herman Have you ever asked a colleague to send you a reminder when a critical deadline or project is looming? Or have you ever added an alarm to your phone to prompt you while you’re developing a new habit? These cues … Continued

7 Techniques to Reimagine Your Relationship with Risk

By Melanie Lockwood Herman In just over a week, clocks around the world will strike midnight, and risk professionals will be opening the door to another year of risks. There will be good and bad surprises we never envisioned, the arrival of future professional friends we haven’t met yet, and the inevitable departures of close … Continued

2021: Are You Ready?

I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear. – Rosa Parks By Whitney Claire Thomey A common sentiment among anyone surviving the first year of this new decade is, “I can’t wait for this year to be over!” … Continued

Attitude of Gratitude

By Whitney Claire Thomey “Showing gratitude is one of the simplest yet most powerful things humans can do for each other.” ― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture Two humble words, “thank you,” have the power to ground us, build us up, and develop deep, meaningful connections. November in the United States is when many people are reminded … Continued

Future Focused: 3 Virtues and Vows

By Melanie Lockwood Herman “But you can build a future out of anything. A scrap, a flicker. The desire to go forward, slowly, one foot at a time. You can build an airy city out of ruins.” ― Lauren Oliver, Pandemonium This week I’ve been reading the October/November issue of Fast Company. In a piece titled “The … Continued

Never Say, “Never Say Sorry.”

The Nonprofit Risk Management Center is excited to introduce a guest writer to you for today’s eNews! Delia Jones provides practical tips and a thought-provoking way of looking at the art of an apology. By Delia Jones It’s a punchline, right? Certain people can’t get through a sentence without including “sorry.” I’m half Brit, and … Continued

Name the Elephant: Coping with the Biggest Risk to Your Mission

By Melanie Lockwood Herman This week I’m reading An Insider’s Guide to Risk Management, by David M. Rowe. In Chapter 8, Product Innovations and Insurgent Competition, Rowe explores the intersection of change and risk management. One of the themes in the chapter is what Rowe describes as the tendency to “concentrate so much on the … Continued

What Books Inspire You?

The NRMC team is full of readers! We find inspiration for risk management in nearly everything we read, and we’re always on the lookout for more inspirational books to sink our teeth into. This coming Sunday, September 6th, is National Read A Book Day! To commemorate the event, we want to know what you’ve been … Continued

Strive for Small to Win Big

Across this country, Americans are grappling with unprecedented stress and anxiety generated by two crises: the global pandemic and unchecked systemic racism. The complexities of these two social issues are vast. Some states have started reopening slowly, and others are experiencing what public health officials are calling a “second wave” (did the first wave ever … Continued

To Infinity and Beyond: Unleashing Imagination to Build Your Organization’s Resilience

“An infinite-minded leader does not simply want to build a company that can weather change but one that can be transformed by it. They want to build a company that embraces surprises and adapts with them.” – Simon Sinek By Melanie Lockwood Herman As we continue to cope with disruptive consequences caused by COVID-19, many … Continued

Dream Team: Keep Sleep a Priority at Your Nonprofit

by Whitney Claire Thomey “It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.” — John Steinbeck The National Sleep Foundation declares the first week of March Sleep Awareness Week. It’s no coincidence that their annual event co-occurs with the … Continued

Stop Preaching to the Choir

By Melanie Lockwood Herman During a recent Risk Assessment, one of the senior leaders I spoke to was rather blunt in expressing doubt about the tangible benefits and ultimate value that a risk assessment would bring to the organization. Although I was grateful for his candor, his comments left me wondering whether his view might … Continued

2020 Risk Forecast: Risk Trends Facing Nonprofits

The jovial celebration of each passing year also ushers in a sense of unease and uncertainty: what will we face next? In 2020, nonprofit teams face new risks brought on by global megatrends as well as a few familiar risks that continue to morph and present new challenges. The NRMC team anticipates these risk trends … Continued

Risk-Informed Decision Making

One of the most important goals of risk management is to support risk-aware or risk-informed decision-making. This webinar explores three ways to apply a risk lens to important decisions and decision-making processes at your nonprofit.

Risk Management: It’s FUN-damental

Knowing when, where and how to get started with risk management is sometimes daunting; figuring out how to make it fun is more so! During this webinar NRMC staff share how to maximize risk management ‘wins’ and learn from epic ‘fails.’ Find out how to launch, evolve or resuscitate a risk program in your nonprofit. … Continued

Managing Talent Acquisition Risk

Volunteers and staff are the lifeblood of any nonprofit, but they’re not always easy to find! In this workshop NRMC’s Executive Director, Melanie Herman, explains the art and skill of attracting top talent, strategies for managing a talent pipeline, and practical tips for drawing the right people to your organization at the right time. Learn … Continued

Systemic Failure and Risk Management

“You don’t understand anything until you learn it more than one way.” – Marvin Minsky By Glenn Mott The other night, I happened to catch the documentary program “Retro Report” on PBS. Retro Report is a nonprofit news organization that produces mini documentaries that look at today’s news stories through the lens of historical context. Executive … Continued

It’s Time to Banish Blueprints and Best Practices

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson By Melanie Lockwood Herman and Katharine Nesslage When our team is asked, “What should a risk committee do?” or “How should risk roles be described on position descriptions?” or “How often should … Continued

Five Low-Tech Ways to Anticipate and Manage Active Threats

It always pays to be cognizant of what is happening around you. From the risk of an avoidable accident to the dangers of a determined perpetrator, lack of focus and awareness can be devastating or deadly. This webinar explores low-tech ways to anticipate and manage the risks of active threats. Use what you learn watching … Continued

6 Risk Trends that Matter to Your Mission

By Melanie Lockwood Herman Yesterday I read with interest Kate Barr’s new blog post titled 8 Trends in the Nonprofit Sector. Kate is the President & CEO of Propel Nonprofits, an organization that supports nonprofits in Minnesota and adjacent states. Propel’s finance factsheets, worksheets and other resources are top notch, and I recommend them. Kate’s … Continued

Social Distortion, Personal Responsibility, and Reputational Risk

By Melanie Lockwood Herman “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.” – Cool Hand Luke, 1967 This week I’ve been reading Rethinking Reputational Risk: How to Manage the Risks that can Ruin Your Business, Your Reputation and You, by Anthony Fitzsimmons and Derek Atkins. In an early chapter, the authors share the following definition … Continued

Dream a Little Dream: Managing Sleep Deprivation Risks

By Katharine Nesslage Our ambitious 24/7 lifestyles, filled with unbalanced diets, low physical activity, excessive electronic media use, and psychosocial stress, are causing a precipitous decline in our sleep. But the safety implications of sleep deprivation have been known for decades. Precipitating causes of the Three Mile Island nuclear incident (1979), the Exxon Valdez oil … Continued

Don’t be Dispassionate: How to Use Emotional Impulses to Make Better Decisions – Full Article

By Glenn Mott “Heuristic / you risked it.”  —Hank Lazer Recently, I had an opportunity to read a special issue of the Harvard Business Review called “The Brain Science Behind Business”—a compilation of previously published articles about neuroscience. Reading these articles got me thinking about the role of heuristics in risk management. Heuristics refers to … Continued

Use Design Thinking to Find Creative Solutions to Worrisome Risks

By Katharine Nesslage “Some of our important choices have a timeline. If we delay a decision, the opportunity is gone forever. Sometimes our doubts keep us from making a choice that involves change. Thus, an opportunity may be missed.”– James E. Faust As disruption—rapid change in current behavior with no time to oppose it—becomes the … Continued

Cyber Liability Insurance: What You Need to Know

Risks related to data privacy and systems security are top-of-mind for risk professionals. And although insurance coverage is available for many aspects of this complex risk landscape, insurance products differ in intent, structure, and protection. Attend this webinar to learn about the key components and features of insurance policies available to protect against the “what … Continued

If Ruminating on Risk Inspires Worry, You’re Doing it Wrong

By Melanie Lockwood Herman During a recent risk workshop, one of our participants commented, “Thinking about all of the potential risks facing my organization makes me really worried!” Her remark reminded me of the distinction between what many leaders believe is the narrow purpose of risk management and its true aim. The narrow view of risk management’s … Continued

Rewarding Risks: The Prodigious Power of Volunteers

By Christy Grano It’s National Volunteer Week, an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of volunteers and the indelible impact that volunteer service makes on communities across our country. In the promotional materials for National Volunteer Week, the Points of Light Foundation reminds us that: “Whether online, at the office, or the local food bank; whether with a vote, a … Continued

Out of Focus: How Being Less Focused (and More Aware) Pays Off

By Glenn Mott Mindfulness, like it’s complement gratitude, has been much hyped—with good reason. Our underlying mindset and conditioning are nearly invisible to most of us; by itself, the conscious mind is insufficient to get at the deeper mindset. Nonjudgmental, present-moment awareness (aka mindfulness meditation) has been shown to change attitudes, emotional responses, and habitual … Continued

Running Successful Risk Workshops

Attend this webinar to learn top tips for an engaging risk workshop, based on 20 years of conducting hundreds of NRMC workshops and trainings. Whether your workshops sessions are dazzling or dragging, we hope this webinar will provide everything you need so that your attendees will walk away feeling informed and refreshed.restricted

Don’t Be Dispassionate: How to Use Emotional Impulses to Make Better Decisions

By Glenn Mott Recently, I had an opportunity to read a special issue of the Harvard Business Review called “The Brain Science Behind Business”—a compilation of previously published articles about neuroscience. Reading these articles got me thinking about the role of heuristics in risk management. Heuristics refers to a set of rules we develop through … Continued

Managing a Multi-Generational Workforce

Attend this webinar to learn about managing risk in a workplace with workers representing five generations. Find out how to manage a changing workforce that may include workers from the Silent Generation (born before 1945), Baby Boomers (born between 1946-1964), Generation Xers (born between 1965-1980), Millennials (born between 1981-1995), and the very youngest employees – … Continued

Dampening Drama: Lessons from a Large Family

by Christy Grano I was the oldest of seven siblings, with two military veterans for parents. That’s right, seven kids, just like the Von Trapp family in The Sound of Music. We didn’t march to a whistle or live in a mansion, but efficiency, order, and education were certainly high priorities. Charts mapped out our … Continued

Scorched Middle Earth: Banishing The Department of No

by Melanie Lockwood Herman As fans of high fantasy fiction know first-hand, Middle-earth is the fictional setting for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, the most widely-read books from English writer J. R. R. Tolkien. According to Wikipedia, “Middle-earth has also become a short-hand to refer to the legendarium and Tolkien’s fictional take … Continued

Technology Mishaps: Planning for IT and Communications Disasters

By Christy Grano For most of us, the word “disaster” usually brings to mind a natural disaster like a hurricane or a tsunami, but in the risk management world technology disasters immediately come to mind. An unexpected loss of data or communication can bring an entire organization to a halt if power, internet, email, or … Continued

Distraction & Decision Fatigue are Brain Drain for Risk Champions

By Melanie Lockwood Herman “The actual information that reaches the brain via our senses is not the rich and detailed stream of sights, sounds and sensations that we so often take for granted; in truth, the raw data our senses provide is more like a muddy trickle, and our brain does some quite incredible work … Continued

If I Only Had a Brain: Neuroscience and Risk Management

Cajoling colleagues into supporting risk management initiatives isn’t easy. Did you know that: the “laggy, lazy and distracted” brains of your staff and volunteers are hard-wired with roadblocks to risk-aware thinking and decision-making? various thinking patterns—including both intuitive shortcuts and analytical long-routes—send teams into dangerous territory, depending on the risk issue facing your team? NRMC … Continued

How Neuroscience and Risk Management Link to Fear and Memory

“To our brains, daily life is like tightrope-walking over a vast pit full of furious honey badgers and broken glass; one wrong move and you’ll end up as a gruesome mess in temporary but exquisite pain.” – Dean Burnett, Idiot Brain: What Your Head is Really Up To By Melanie Lockwood Herman To prep for … Continued

Dream Big: 10 Lessons Learned from Skydiving

By Christine Smith On Monday, I had the opportunity to jump out of a plane from 10,000 feet in the air at 120 miles per hour. Yes, that’s right, I went skydiving! If you’ve seen my bio on the NRMC website, you would know that it was an item on my bucket list. To say … Continued

Belt and Suspenders: Redundancy in Risk Practice

By Melanie Lockwood Herman “Daring and prudence, when used together, lead to new and safe structures.” – Why Buildings Fall Down I was reminded of several risk practice fundamentals this week while reading a fascinating book, Why Buildings Fall Down. The book chronicles structural failures, including the collapse of dams, bridges, stadiums, and buildings, and … Continued

Not So Great Governance? Resolve to Reinvent the Board

By Melanie Lockwood Herman In contrast with family members, friends and staff who are devoted to their favorite teams and specific sports, I have a less loyal and more general interest in sports. And while watching live or televised events, I’m easily distracted by subliminal messages about teamwork and leadership that play out on the … Continued

I Survived: Managing Family Vacation Risk

By Eric Henkel Last week I led my family of five on a classic rite of passage—a Spring Break trip to Florida to visit Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. I’m pleased to report that the trip went well, we made it home safe and sound, and I only allowed myself a few brief moments … Continued

No Worries: Mastering Productive Worry

By Melanie Lockwood Herman It’s been nearly 15 years since I first heard the expression “no worries” during a trip to Australia. I recall feeling a bit confused when my “thank you” was met with an enthusiastic “No worries!” But as my trip continued, I appreciated the sentiment that seemed to accompany the phrase. By … Continued

Love My Way – Resources for Risk-taking

By Melanie Lockwood Herman “You can never win or lose. If you don’t run the race.” – Love My Way by The Psychedelic Furs Driving home one Valentine’s Day my radio was tuned to 1st Wave on Sirius/XM and a special program featuring love songs from the 1980s. First up was one of my favorites, … Continued

New Risk Benchmarking App & Infographic: 5 Riveting Reads for Risk Champions

  The Nonprofit Risk Management Center team is pleased to share our new, free resource: the Risk Benchmarking App. This web application allows nonprofit leaders to compare their organizations’s risk practices to those of peer organizations. The Risk Benchmarking App uses five commonly asked questions to compare nonprofit risk management practices. We plan to add … Continued

Don’t Get Stuck in a Rut, Trust Your Gut

By Melanie Lockwood Herman “You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.” – Alan Alda In last week’s Risk eNews (“Embrace Your Leaky Brain to Conquer the Unknown“) I shared a lesson from the book … Continued

Embrace Your Leaky Brain to Conquer the Unknown

By Melanie Lockwood Herman This week I was dismayed to learn about the damaging effects and destructive force of a leaky faucet. For the past two weeks I have noticed–but repeatedly ignored–a strangely stiff faucet handle and minor leak in one of my sinks at home. Now it’s time to pay the piper, or in … Continued

Reversing Decisions: Risk Lessons from the Peanut Gallery

By Eric Henkel Changing your mind and reversing a previous decision generally seems like something to avoid. However, it may be the best thing to do when new information makes it prudent to do so. A recent New York Times article about peanut allergies discusses new guidelines issued by the National Institute of Allergy and … Continued

Glossary of Risk Management and Insurance Terms

This glossary was originally published in Coverage, Claims and Consequences: An Insurance Handbook for Nonprofits. Accident — Unexpected or chance event. This term is frequently defined in older commercial general liability (CGL) policies. Accident medical reimbursement insurance — Covers medical expenses for injuries arising out of accidents, regardless of liability. Traditionally also provides a schedule … Continued

Proper Planning Prevents Poor Meeting Performance

By Eric Henkel Many of the employees we meet in Center-led Risk Assessments yearn for a more generous communications loop in their organizations. Our team has also observed the growing interdependency of work tasks and the need for thoughtful collaboration and communication. Email and instant messaging may feel like time-saving communications tools, but they are … Continued

How to Go Around or Over the Bumps in the Road

By Erin Gloeckner This holiday season has been a hectic one for me. The eve of Thanksgiving Day, I drove a few hours to visit family in West Virginia, and I hit a buck on the highway going 70 MPH. Miraculously my boyfriend Alex, my dog Hugo and I were not hurt, but the hood … Continued

Internal Crisis Communications: The Inside Track

By Melanie Lockwood Herman When a crisis threatens a nonprofit mission, top leaders instinctively focus on what to say to the rapidly encroaching outside world. A community-serving nonprofit may attract attention from far and wide when a disaster, scandal or tragedy strikes. Yet one of the most important steps to surviving and thriving while in … Continued

Lessons on Learning

By Melanie Lockwood Herman This month I’ve been reading Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing, by Jamie Holmes. One of the memorable reminders in the book is about the importance of learning, something my team has been focused on recently as we prepare to unveil our 2017 line-up of risk-learning and leadership opportunities for nonprofit … Continued

Say What? How Unconscious Bias Affects Our Perceptions

By Eric Henkel You probably regularly encounter situations where you are convinced that you know exactly what is going on, only to find out that things are the exact opposite of what you thought. When it comes to how we view our environment and the people we interact with, there is often a disconnect between … Continued

A Spoonful of Skepticism Helps the Medicine Go Down

By Melanie Lockwood Herman Have you ever attended a board meeting where one of the members seemed to have everything figured out? Or have you ever worked (or lived with!) a ‘know-it-all?” One of my favorite expressions relevant to the world of nonprofit governance is, “Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” … Continued

You’ve Got a Friend in Me

By Melanie Lockwood Herman “When the road looks rough ahead, and you’re miles and miles from your nice warm bed… you just remember what your old pal said, ‘Boy, you’ve got a friend in me.'” – You’ve Got a Friend In Me, by Randy Newman (from the movie Toy Story) In her article titled, “Do … Continued

5 Questions to Re-Focus Your Risk Function

By Melanie Lockwood Herman A colleague recently sent me a copy of “The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization,” a book organized around a short list of simple but provocative and powerful questions. In a series of essays authored by familiar management luminaries, the book offers a straightforward way to … Continued

Ladder of Inference

The Ladder of Inference technique is a tool to help prevent common biases and human tendencies from derailing your risk management program. Inspired by the tool developed by organizational development guru Chris Argyris, this workshop begins with a review of four common mistakes in risk practice: (1) faulty assumptions; (2) superficial learning from loss; (3) choosing beliefs … Continued

Risk Oversight

This webinar explores the topic of risk oversight and the board. Learn what the term risk oversight” means, and how risk oversight intersects with the board’s legal and fiduciary responsibilities. Join us as we take a close-up look at several risk oversight frameworks, and explore how to custom fit a risk oversight capability to your … Continued

Risk Aware Boards

This webinar explores the topic of governance risk. What risks arise from the work of the board? How does the responsibility of a nonprofit board differ from that of a for-profit board? What steps are recommended to engage the board without frightening members and encouraging risk-averse positions or policies? By the end of this webinar, … Continued

Risk Champions: What’s in a Name?

The risk champion in a nonprofit may be called Risk Manager, CFO, Chief Risk Officer, Director of Special Projects or even CEO. Despite the varying titles, the clear trend in the nonprofit sector is to designate a point person to champion the design and implementation of best-in-class risk management. This webinar explores the role of … Continued

Insurance Coverage Q&A

Many nonprofit leaders report difficulty understanding the terms of the insurance coverage on which their nonprofit organizations depend. This webinar offers the chance to pose any coverage-related question and receive an answer in plain language. The program will begin with a survey of common questions about the process of obtaining coverage and an overview of … Continued

Insurance Basics for Nonprofits

The world of commercial insurance is complex and always changing. It’s no wonder that nonprofit managers, executives and board members often struggle trying to understand how coverage works and the process for obtaining comprehensive and affordable coverage. For longer than a decade, the staff at the Nonprofit Risk Management Center has been training nonprofit leaders … Continued

Ready, Mindset, Go!

April 6, 2016 By Melanie Lockwood Herman During two Risk Assessments / ERM engagements for complex nonprofit organizations, our team has shared the idea of a ‘risk aware mindset’ with our clients. What are we referring to? In general, we’re talking about a leadership team that is: Eager to learn, and learn some more Comfortable … Continued

Banish Overconfidence to Unleash Originality

April 20, 2016 By Melanie Lockwood Herman I recently purchased tickets to attend one of the stops on Garrison Keillor’s farewell Prairie Home Companion tour. Although I’ve heard it countless times during his weekly radio broadcast and it’s a bit corny, I’m looking forward to hearing–for the last time–the closing line from the Lake Wobegon … Continued

Foster Dissent, Quiet Consensus

April 27, 2016 By Melanie Lockwood Herman I’ve been a fan of dissent–over comfortable consensus–for some time. While finishing Adam Grant’s book, Originals, I discovered some new insights into why and how consensus and groupthink pair up to kill innovation. Grant describes how Polaroid made strides in electronic imaging in the early 1980s, and finished … Continued

Level the Playing Field Through Inclusive Meetings

May 4, 2016 By Emily Stumhofer It’s all about perspective. Diverse perspectives can contribute to a more complete and whole view of an organization and its challenges and strengths. Most of us understand the value of obtaining diverse perspectives, and including a variety of people and stakeholders in discussions and meetings, but are we doing … Continued

Employee Engagement: Why Good Isn’t Good Enough

May 12, 2016 By Melanie Lockwood Herman “Respectful treatment of all employees at all levels,” tops the list of factors contributing to over all job satisfaction, according to the 2016 SHRM Employment Job Satisfaction and Engagement Survey. Also positive, SHRM–the Society for Human Resource Management–reports that U.S. employees are “more satisfied with their current jobs … Continued

Risk Management’s Unintended Consequences

Have you ever done a good deed just to realize later that it resulted in some unintended, negative consequence? Perhaps this realization came after implementing new risk management practices at your nonprofit. After reading a CEB report titled 'Reducing Risk Management's Organizational Drag,' I agreed with the authors' perspective that risk management can sometimes result … Continued

Join the Culture Club

December 23, 2015 By Melanie Lockwood Herman Assuming you love your job, what is it about your nonprofit that makes it a wonderful place to work? Despite the undeniable uniqueness of nonprofits, most organizations have the following elements in common: a compelling mission, a defined leadership structure, multiple stakeholder groups and vulnerability to financial stress … Continued

Clear the Decks

December 31, 2015 By Melanie Lockwood Herman According to, the expression “clear the decks” refers to the preparations made by the crew of a sailing ship, such as removing or fastening down loose objects on deck “that might otherwise get in the way of the guns, or be knocked down and injure a sailor.” … Continued

Sensible Risk Resolutions for 2016

January 6, 2016 By Melanie Lockwood Herman Each year, many Americans adopt unrealistic New Year’s resolutions. My first resolution for 2016 was to stop booking business trips that require late evening departures or landings. I was a bit surprised to learn that, according to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, 75% of people who make a … Continued

Closing Time: Effective Exit Interviews

By Melanie Lockwood Herman “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end…” – Closing Time, Semisonic Upon learning that an employee or volunteer will be leaving your nonprofit, you might schedule a time for the departing team member to turn in their keys, return equipment, and receive a briefing on post employment benefits. Departing … Continued

Managing Mission Creep

February 24, 2016 By Erin Gloeckner The perennial debate: be good at everything or be great at one thing? I’ve witnessed this struggle at diverse nonprofits during many NRMC consulting engagements. The door of opportunity opens and most nonprofit leaders eagerly walk through. We take on additional programs or lines of service based on the … Continued


March 9, 2016 By Melanie Lockwood Herman Since last week’s snowfall, the weather in our area has steadily improved. We’ve already had a few picture-perfect days, although spring is still more than a week away. For many people, the arrival of spring means melting away your worries about slipping on black ice, and the end … Continued

HELP! I Need Somebody’s Risk Help

March 16, 2016 If you’ve ever heard the catchy Beatles tune, Help!, it might have caused you to reflect on times you’ve sought help in your personal or professional life. Here at the Center, we offer RISK HELP and risk management guidance to our valued Affiliate Members and consulting clients. In today’s RISK eNews, the … Continued

Art Appreciation in a World of Risk

March 23, 2016 Art Appreciation in a World of Risk By Melanie Lockwood Herman Last week I took advantage of an opportunity to combine two of my favorite pastimes: reading and relaxation. While on a short vacation, I read 33 Artists in 3 Acts, by art world chronicler Sarah Thornton. In her never dull book, … Continued

Why We Shouldn’t Just Get Along

By Melanie Lockwood Herman During an interview for a recent Risk Assessment, a staff member at a client nonprofit asked, “Why can’t we just get along?” She continued by describing the actions of senior leaders in her organization, whose behavior toward one another negatively affected employees at all levels of the organization. Instead of inspiring … Continued

Lost in Emotion: Managing Workplace Stress and Conflict

July 15, 2015 By Emily Wilson I’ll be the first one to admit it–I’m one of those people who cry at the drop of a hat. Not to mention sad movies and humane society PSAs. According to the research on crying, some people are simply more prone to crying than others. So I was not … Continued

Mindful Leadership

July 29, 2015 By Melanie Lockwood Herman During a recent consulting engagement, a member of my team reminded our client that when an organization adopts a large number of ambitious, complex goals, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Instead of feeling “doable,” success may feel out of reach. The key to tackling big goals, she explained, … Continued

A Little Respect

August 5, 2015 By Melanie Lockwood Herman As anyone who’s ridden in my car, visited my home, or asked me about my taste in music knows, I’m a huge fan of Channel 33 on SiriusXM. My “First Wave” station plays music from the 1980s–from upbeat dance tunes to the bizarre poetic musings of Morrissey. One … Continued

Rebellion: How to Change Your Approach to Learning

August 12, 2015 By Melanie Lockwood Herman “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin The desire to learn on the job is shared by employees from all generations, backgrounds and tenures. Yet promises made to new hires about “learning opportunities” are infrequently supported … Continued

As Luck Will Have It

August 19, 2015 By Melanie Lockwood Herman Dan Ariely’s book, Irrationally Yours, is a collection of his “Ask Ariely” columns featured in The Wall Street Journal. I purchased this book at an airport bookstore after learning that a short flight delay was going to stretch into several hours. As luck would have it, this particular … Continued

Stuck in the Middle

By Melanie Lockwood Herman Certain melodies and lyrics get stuck in my head. In 1972, the single “Stuck in the Middle with You,” by Stealers Wheel, took up permanent residence in my brain. Peaking at #6 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, the song was apparently inspired by a business lunch, where songwriters and … Continued

The Nonprofit Sector’s Dirty Secret

September 2, 2015 By Melanie Lockwood Herman Friday, September 4th is the deadline to submit written comments on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding changes to the regulations defining which white-collar workers are protected by the minimum wage and overtime standards in the Fair Labor Standards Act. As of this writing, more than 145,000 … Continued

Why Sorry is the Hardest Word

September 9, 2015 By Melanie Lockwood Herman This weekend I had an opportunity to watch a program titled “Cardinal Seán” featured in a re-run of the television program, 60 Minutes. The subject of the program was Cardinal Seán O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston. One of the most compelling moments in the broadcast was a video clip … Continued

Thank you!

September 16, 2015 by Melanie Lockwood Herman The principal purpose of this week’s RISK eNews is to say “thank you” to the generous sponsors of the 2015 Risk Summit. Without financial support from these corporate risk champions, the conference simply wouldn’t be possible. As past attendees know, our Risk Summits deliver practical workshops, inspiring keynotes, … Continued

So Good

September 30, 2015 by Melanie Lockwood Herman Throughout my life I’ve shied away from buying items of clothing that prominently advertise a corporate brand. As a child I recall my father saying that if he were ever to purchase a shirt featuring a certain reptile emblem, he would immediately cut it off before wearing it. … Continued

The Optimism Bias

October 16, 2015 By Erin Gloeckner Are you a Tigger (i.e., an unfailingly cheerful and bouncy tiger)? Or are you an Eeyore (i.e., a pronouncedly pessimistic and gloomy donkey)? Whether or not you fit neatly into one of those categories, you’ve likely met people who do. My own partner is a die-hard Tigger who always … Continued

The Frankenstein Effect

October 21, 2015 By Erin Gloeckner With Halloween swiftly approaching, I’ve been humming ‘Monster Mash’ and craving anything pumpkin-flavored. A few nights ago I went shopping for dog food, but found myself drawn to the cheap-but-adorable doggie Halloween costumes. I came home with a bag of food and a hilarious Frankenstein costume for my dog, … Continued

Beyond Belief: How Cognitive Biases Shape Our World

By Emily Stumhofer Scientists and psychological researchers are constantly trying to figure out why people do the things they do. The notion of cognitive bias was first introduced in 1972 by Daniel Kahneman and his colleague Amos Tversky. In 2002, Daniel Kahneman won the Nobel Prize in Economics for his research on how human judgments … Continued

Grip Strong and Prosper

May 20, 2015 By Melanie Lockwood Herman The subject of aging has been haunting me lately. I’m starting to hear a bit of a creak as I climb the stairs in our two-story office, and I’ve been trying not to count the days until one of “those” birthdays turns red on my calendar. Along with … Continued

Embrace Radical Thinking to Wrestle Risk

June 3, 2015 By Melanie Lockwood Herman During a staff meeting this week I was reminded of the difficulty of seeing beyond the barrier of past experience. When a member of our team suggested a radical approach to addressing a challenge on our horizon, I immediately offered an example of a prior failed attempt at … Continued

Coffee, Confusion and Continuous Improvement

By Melanie Lockwood Herman The book Born Standing Up, by Steve Martin, is a close-up look at the career of a performer who seemed to skyrocket to success as a standup comedian and then movie-star. As readers of Martin’s book quickly realize, his fast-track to success was only an illusion. Martin began honing his craft at … Continued

Meet, Greet, Grin and Adjust

By Melanie Lockwood Herman After a whirlwind month during which we hosted three, back-to-back risk conferences, life at the Nonprofit Risk Management Center has returned to “normal.” What’s normal? Working with dedicated leaders from a diverse array of mission-directed public entities and nonprofits on projects ranging from the development of a cloud application for one … Continued

Off With a Bang: Risk Resolutions

A new year brings the opportunity to start fresh in many areas of life. For many people, this means big plans and aspirations, and often, resolutions. For some suggested risk resolutions from the Nonprofit Risk Management Center, check out our infographic. According to historical accounts, the earliest recorded New Year’s celebration took place around 4,000 … Continued

How to be the World’s Smartest Risk Manager

By Melanie Lockwood Herman I’ve just finished the National Geographic book, “How to Be the World’s Smartest Traveler.” Who doesn’t want to be the world’s “smartest” anything?! As a big fan of the expression, “don’t believe everything you read,” I had no expectation of becoming the world’s smartest traveler when I cracked the cover of … Continued