Tell ‘Em the Opportunity

When you (or the business area you support) are articulating a risk profile to the board, make sure you tell them about the opportunities the risk profile provides. Why? Because according to Peter Drucker, leaders should focus on investing in opportunities, not problems.[1]

This will hold the most for organisations focused on risk taking, encompassing both profit driven organisations as well as many for-purpose organisations trying to solve wicked problems, or at least helping others deal with them better. You will get the attention of leaders in these organisations much quicker and hold their attention if you are helping them solve future problems of growth and impact.

However, the same is true for risk averse organisations, as government organisations often are alongside well-established and conservative for profits and for purpose organisations. While they will want to hear about the down-side risks and what you are doing about them, they will equally be interested in the opportunities the risk profile presents. Why? Because they have limited resources and the more opportunities identified and tackled, the less down-side risk there is.

Where do you find opportunities in your risk profile? In my experience, it is usually in creating risk treatments to deal with high risk. Often you can solve multiple problems at once, or build a case for an investment opportunity, because of the added benefit of risk reduction.

Sometimes, when you look hard with a creative mind, you find brand new opportunities the business had not thought of yet. The more you go into a risk profiling exercise focussed on identifying opportunities, the more likely you will find them.

And who doesn’t like a good opportunity ????

[1]Prof G Markets Podcast: The Broken IPO Market, Disney’s Parks Investment and buying FTX Bankruptcy Claims, 25 Sept 2023 and in Leading in a Time of Change: What It Will Take to Lead Tomorrow (Video) (Frances Hesselbein Leadership Forum Book 44)