It is one of the few facts that everyone in the business world agrees on: there is nothing more certain than uncertainty. It can be difficult to know what the future will look like but, anticipating what might happen in the future has become increasingly important in a so-called VUCA world. Many organizations are now focusing on risk management to better understand how uncertainty affects them, what they have missed and what they need to anticipate so thatthey are not caught off guard, again. We are all reduced to dealing with uncertainty. So, the question is, what can we do about it?
In an ideal world, every organization develops its own activities and processes for dealing with uncertainty to support decision-making. Uncertainty is always present whenever wewant to move in a direction, change the way we do things, innovate and develop something new, grow or achieve something we state as a goal. Uncertainty makes it more or less challenging to achieve what we want to achieve. Uncertainties can have positive effects on whatwe are trying to achieve - they are called opportunities; while others can have negative effects - they are called threats.
ENGAGE FOR IMPACT
When it comes to dealing with the uncertainties that matter, organizations most often turn to risk management. Through anticipation and better preparation, organizations can adapt and respond appropriately to these changes and uncertainties.
Therefore, how your organization manages its uncertainties can quickly become a key to success. However, many organizations believe they need formal risk management to truly manage uncertainty.
CALL TO ACTION
There are things you can do today that will put your organization in a better position to manage uncertainty:
Embrace uncertainty. Recognize your organization cannot respond by doing nothingand take a “wait & see” approach to what lies ahead. This is not sound management. Instead, take a focused approach to dealing with uncertainty.
Review existing activities and processes which are designed to address uncertainty. Many organizations use simple (risk) tools such as SWOT analysis, PESTLE analysis, devil’s advocate, pre-mortem analysis, what-if questions or lessons learned sessions.They have the advantage of being familiar to many of us already. Think about whether these processes are good enough or whether you need formal risk management to betterhandle these uncertainties.
Always have objectives in mind. An uncertainty is only important to consider if it isrelated to an objective. Also keep different time horizons in mind when discussing uncertainty, so you understand what you really need to pay attention to.
Be proactive in learning. Maximize the moments when you can actually learn aboutthe organization and stay informed about what is ahead. You can already approach itthrough purposeful investigation, high-level questions, conversations, and other learning experiences. Most organizations, if not sufficiently challenged, tend to believe that thefuture will look like the past, when practice reveals that it is rarely the case.
Want to discuss your risk management efforts?
Please don’t hesitate to contact me to talk about your specific situation today.