Jun 30th, 2009


Hazards have to be treated transparently, which of course does not exclude confidentiality, in order to avoid various well known organizational risk-related money wasting syndromes which we will summarize in three points:

The “specialist syndrome”:

this syndrome leads hazard specialists of a given hazard, for example IT, military, political, or financial experts to believe they understand how to evaluate risks. They do not: they can characterize the hazard they specialize in, but they do not know about risks, their quantification, their prioritization etc. We will not cite again the sub-prime/banking disaster, but let’s put in in simple terms: a car mechanic is not necessarily a racing pilot, right?

The “denial syndrome”:

This syndrome is exemplified by the classic “it will not happen to me: I am too large, too small, it can only happen to others etc.” Well, invincible banks went on their knees, small Mom & Pop businesses were forced to shut…entire industries collapse…it will happen to you whether you like it or not, so stop procrastinating or looking into your horoscope! Get real and prepare.


The “technology fix-it-all syndrome”:

This syndrome leads to the classic excesses driven by hardware vendors and other biased parties who want to erase aspects of the hazards, but miss the true nature of the risks. History is full of invincible castles who were seized in a day, starting from Troy on; unsinkable vessels, who sank miserably; invincible armies who starved or froze to death too far away from a logistic base (Russian campaign(s) etc.). Furthermore, examples abound of laws and decrees aimed at solving one situation, then backfiring on another; parking planes close together to avoid “local sabotage” in Pearl Harbor, only to offer an easy pray to the Imperial Air Force, etc.

THE RISK MANAGEMENT RELATED SYNDROMES, "The "technology fix-it-all syndrome"


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Category: Crisis management, Risk analysis, Risk management

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