How ‘risk management’ hinders rather than helps decision-making and actually degrades value

Organisations can only hope to advance their Purpose – and thus create value – by making and implementing decisions. Decision-making approach and competency is thus fundamental to sound governance.

This workshop will show that although the array of current and past approaches to ‘Risk Management’ with their many artefacts and paraphernalia absorb precious resources, they serve only to hinder rather than help sound decision making. We will contend that these ‘Risk management’ belief systems create an illusion of confidence as to which outcomes will flow from decisions and so act as an organisational ‘Kool-aid’ that insidiously undermine sound governance.

We will examine a diverse selection of well known, public domain case studies of decisions that resulted in very serious unintended consequences (ranging from Fukishima to SVB) to illustrate that it was the distraction of ‘Risk management’ that resulted in the defective decisions that made these events possible.

While our presentation will demonstrate how the advocacy of the proponents of these unnatural ‘Risk management’ belief systems to ‘integrate’ them into the (natural) way that organisations (and their ‘Deciders’) actually make decisions distracts and hinders, it will also demonstrate (by contrast) that greater awareness of how decisions are actually made supports and facilitates even better decision-making.

Grant Purdy, Director, Sufficient Certainty. While, what I do has had many titles over the last 40+ years, it all seems to come down to assisting decision makers to have effective and efficient conversations about whether the decisions they are making, and have made previously, are providing sufficient certainty that intended outcomes will be achieved. Seeking sufficient certainty is an age-old challenge with many approaches (including ‘good old common sense’ even though the sense is often neither good nor common!). Through most of my career this has been labelled risk management. However, despite the best efforts of many, this is still widely perceived as being concerned with failure rather than with success. It also harbours a dirty secret: like ‘risk’, it is a made-up expression and has no commonly accepted or applied meaning

RISK-ACADEMY offers online courses


Informed Risk Taking

Learn 15 practical steps on integrating risk management into decision making, business processes, organizational culture and other activities!


ISO31000 Integrating Risk Management

Alex Sidorenko, known for his risk management blog, has created a 25-step program to integrate risk management into decision making, core business processes and the overall culture of the organization.


Advanced Risk Governance

This course gives guidance, motivation, critical information, and practical case studies to move beyond traditional risk governance, helping ensure risk management is not a stand-alone process but a change driver for business.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.