Kempkey Insurance and Risk Management Services

The Right Question

Jan 03, 2017

Sometimes we ask the wrong question. Instead of asking what can go wrong, we should consider asking what can go right.  In the context of risk management, the problem lies in our perception of risk.  It seems all reference to risk focuses on the negative, like something bad will happen.  The reality is that we all take risks every day with the expectation that something good will happen.

Instead of asking about events that could threaten the achievement of our objectives, ask about opportunities to improve the likelihood of achieving those objectives. It changes the whole conversation.  Here are some examples.

Instead of “what could adversely impact our productivity?”, ask “what opportunities do you see to improve productivity?”

Rather than asking “what could cause an unpleasant customer experience?”, ask “do you see any opportunities to improve the customer experience?”

An alternative to “what could go wrong to affect quality?”, ask “are there areas where we can improve the quality of our products or services?”

Effective risk management still requires addressing the threats, but it should be balanced with identifying opportunities. That way it both protects and creates value for the organization, providing a much greater return on the investment.

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