Navigating the Fog with Risk

“We take a lot of calculated risk, but we make sure that no one risk is going to topple everything. Protecting the downside is critical.” – Richard Branson

Nothing is easy in business these days, that’s for sure. We’re fighting against a backdrop of constant change, increased competition and disruption. It’s tough out there.

The emergence of the Risk-Intelligent Leader, and a thirst for capitalising on the opportunities that a sound understanding of risk brings, are bright lights in our often times murky environment. If used in the right way, risk can become the key to navigating our way through the fog and adapting to rapidly changing forecasts.

Risk is today being grasped with both hands by many organisations, to be used in innovative and creative ways to increase competitiveness and performance. At the same time, risk-positive cultures are springing up to ensure that this approach is sustainable. We hope that this positive trend continues to grow and evolve.

There’s certainly no doubt that doing nothing is not an option.

As Andrew Pyke sums up: ‘All hard and serious ventures carry risk, opportunities, uncertainties, assumptions, constraints and general VUCA. It’s not a choice if you want to do serious and hard things. The choice is more about how to engage with the risk. The greater risk is being oblivious and getting caught out, without awareness or a plan.’

Tim Fenemore, project delivery expert, agrees: ‘The key thing is that no business can stay where it is. You have to take that leap of faith. Innovation requires a level of risk but to survive you’ve got to accept and embrace change.

“It’s exciting that we’ve got to a point where risk tools and thinking are tried and tested – so now we need to apply risk techniques in innovative and responsible ways.’

Our contributors to the whitepaper on Risk Intelligence, predict more leaders taking bigger risk decisions for greater rewards. As Pete Madsen says, “If you’re not a Risk-Intelligent Leader, you’re not a real leader.”

They urge organisations to view risk in a whole new light. To see opportunity, not just threat. To see a tool for innovation, agility and shaping the future, not just systems and processes.

On that note, we were overwhelmed by the generosity of our risk leaders, sharing their thoughts and time with us as we explored what makes a Risk-Intelligent Leader. Each and every contributor has helped us dig even deeper into the role of risk in today’s organisation and we’re truly grateful to this brilliant community for opening up the potential that risk offers.

Our white paper aims to be the starting point of a wider discussion around the role and potential of risk in today’s market. We hope that you will join us in this debate so that together we can drive risk forward as a force for good.