What M. Planck, G.B. Shaw and A. Rand have to do with Risk Management?

What M. Planck, G.B. Shaw and A. Rand have to do with Risk Management?

Jun 18th, 2015

What M. Planck, G.B. Shaw and A. Rand  have to do with Risk Management?

Max Planck wrote: “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”

What M. Planck, G.B. Shaw and A. Rand have to do with Risk Management?

Max Planck in 1933. (Wikimedia)

At Riskope belong to those who argue that the transition from faith and luck, which were two pillars, fortunately not the only ones, of planning/managing the future of a project/ operation, to rational thinking is far from completed, despite a few generations having gone by.

With rational thinking, events are recognized to occur because they have causes; believing in luck obscures the causes and forbids rational mitigation and proper communication, but also allows to glorify intuition and “success”.

What M. Planck, G.B. Shaw and A. Rand have to do with Risk Management?

If Risk Management is fostered as a continuing process rather than one-off event it becomes way more than an alibi for Short Term Thinkers and a true Management Support function with numerous benefits for Long Term Thinkers:

  • Identifying hazards (causes of potential mishaps) and setting them in a well thought, logical and semantically correct register brings in the first benefit of the approach: allowing good communication and avoiding the pitfall brought forward by George Bernard Shaw, i.e.: “The biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place!”.
  • When that Risk Management Process (RMP) detects and prioritizes risks, classes them as tolerable vs. intolerable, manageable vs. un manageable then another great benefit is reached.
  • When RMP establishes a sustainable roadmap to mitigation of intolerable but manageable risks and sheds a light on strategic shifts necessary to cope with intolerable and unmanageable risks, a third major benefit is reached.
  • Finally, when a mishap happens (Risk Management will not forbid mishaps to occur) important lessons learned will be gathered, if controls are shown to have broken, asking, documenting and actioning a response to the “why did the control fail?” question will ultimately provide great benefit.

The development of a continuous RMP requires people active engagement, their continuous personal-and-Team development to foster change and improvement and ensure that the correct stance will be adopted when confronted with risks.

Quoting Ayn Rand, the russian-american novelist and philosopher, founder of objectivism, people have to understand that although we may be tempted (denial, ostrich) to “… avoid reality, we cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.”


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Category: Consequences, Mitigations, Probabilities, Risk analysis, Risk management, Tolerance/Acceptability

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