Risky Business

Ever done something that scared you?

I used to ride mountain bikes in the bush before I had kids. By the year 2000 I was building up good technical skills and could ride up and down jumps that scare me to look at these days. Recently on a local bushwalk I found a very steep track with extremely long jumps that kids have built, and it absolutely terrifies me!

That started me thinking about the risks people take and the decisions they make based on risk. Remember risk is not just about safety – it can be risk to reputation, financial risk, risk of losing customers or employees, risk of breaking the law, risk to business continuity, risk to the environment, and the list goes on.

What is Risk-Based Thinking and Risk-Based Decision Making? All the ISO standards seem to refer to it now. If your company is certified for Quality, WHS, Environmental or Information Security Management you would have come across this terminology. In fact, there is a whole standard (ISO 31000) that talks about Risk Management.

Risk managed properly is not just thinking about what scares you. Risk should be considered for the things that excite you too! If your business is expanding into new markets and new territories that can be very exciting. Two considerations can ensure the best success – “what could go wrong?” and “what must go right?”.

In its simplest form that is risk-based thinking. Risk management is then taking it a step further by planning and responding to the answers, and continuously monitoring and reporting on the risk to the success of your objectives.

You don’t have to be scared, but we all deserve a bit of well-managed excitement!