Back to Love Mondays archive

Risk it

Welcome to Love Mondays, a weekly newsletter designed as a 3-minute hit to fire up the other 10,077 minutes of your week.

Risk is paralysing many leaders today, but making no decision, is making a decision. And we will still be held accountable. So how do we develop strategies to tackle risk head-on? What does it take to see around regulatory corners and through pandemics?

The future is simply a set of possibilities. The past is a set of probabilities.

Write down your preferred method to deal with risk.

Consider: what steps have you built into your decision-making process to invite dissenting opinions?

Practice: seeking out counterarguments and playing out the different scenarios as a team

Decide to: decouple differences of opinion from the people offering them, and instead embed them into the decision-making process

Premortems. The greatest risk is not thinking there is a risk.

According to a ten-year study of executive leadership conducted by the firm led by transformational change expert Ron Carucci, ‘61% of executives told us they were not prepared for the strategic challenges they faced upon being appointed to senior leadership roles. It’s not surprising, then, that 50%–60% of executives fail within the first 18 months of being promoted or hired.’[i] How can we improve our own ability to deal with risk?

One of the most effective exercises I’ve come across is a premortem. At the beginning of a project, team members are asked to project themselves forward in time and imagine that the project has failed. The simple ask is for each team member to generate plausible reasons for the project’s failure.

Once the team is clear on the premortem list, we look for those items from the list that are both high impact and with a high likelihood of eventuating. These are the ones we need to devote our time and effort to brainstorming solutions for.

Thank you to everyone who’s joined our now 18,000+ strong community of Easy Tiger and Love Mondays readers. We appreciate your readership. If you’d like to help us spread the word, why not share Love Mondays with a friend?

Love your Mondays