Working Within a Complex System

Aaron Dignan, in an excerpt from his book Brave New Work on ‘Changing Organisational Mindset’ explains the difference between complicated and complex by comparing it to the difference between a car and traffic[1]. Everything about a car has been worked out by scientists and engineers and how it moves is predictable. We can’t predict precisely how traffic…
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We’ve Been Creeping Towards it for Decades

I had my book launch for Risky Business: How Successful Organisations Embrace Uncertainty on Thursday afternoon. What a fantastic afternoon with near on two hundred risk professionals, current and past clients and friends and family helping me to celebrate. This is an important book for the risk profession and organisations alike. As I said during my…
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Risk-Speak is $#!t-Speak

I have long complained that the risk profession has made risk management needlessly complex. Part of it is the creation of our own language. Risk-speak. We put “risk” in front of or after perfectly normal words like conduct, appetite and reputation. By putting risk in front of or behind these words we feel we create…
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Accounting for organisation think

No doubt you have heard of groupthink, how the desire to conform - so a group remains of like-mind - can lead to poor decisions. There is another phenomenon at play that I call organisation think, through which the culture of an organisation influences HOW a decision is implemented. The effect of organisational culture on decision making…
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The Uncertainty Paradox

Organisations need to embrace uncertainty because of the Uncertainty Paradox, which states that the only certainty is uncertainty. No one can predict the future. This is the first concept I explore in my new book Risky Business: How Successful Organisations Embrace Uncertainty. The most successful organisations learn to systematically confront and get comfortable with uncertainty. They…
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