Why you’re not taking enough risks?

In 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail on a voyage that would change the world. He had a daring plan, multiple ships, and a crew ready to face the unknown. This historical event serves as a vivid example of multitracking – considering several options simultaneously. This approach, used in one of history’s most significant voyages, is a powerful tool we can use in our everyday decision-making.

Multitracking: the Columbus approach to decision-making

When making decisions, we often limit ourselves to considering one option at a time. This is a common challenge known as narrow framing. However, Columbus didn’t put all his hopes in one ship; he had three – the Santa Maria, the Pinta, and the Niña. This is an example of multitracking. By considering several options simultaneously, we can compare and contrast different possibilities, leading to more informed and balanced decisions.

The exploration team: diversifying your options

Another interesting concept in decision-making is the idea of the “exploration team”. This is a group that considers a related task from a very different domain. By doing so, they can bring fresh perspectives and ideas, helping to widen the pool of considered options. This can be particularly useful in complex decisions where traditional approaches may fall short. For instance, a team working on a marketing strategy might benefit from the insights of a team working on product design.

Prevention and promotion mindsets: the balancing act

In decision-making, we often oscillate between a prevention mindset, which focuses on avoiding negative outcomes, and a promotion mindset, which focuses on pursuing positive outcomes. For example, a prevention mindset might lead us to avoid investing in a risky stock, while a promotion mindset might lead us to take the risk in hopes of a high return. Striking a balance between these two mindsets can help us manage the risk-reward trade-off in our decisions.

Risk-informed decision-making: a new approach

To navigate the challenges of decision-making and manage risks more effectively, we can adopt a risk-informed approach. This involves widening our options, considering the opportunity cost of our decisions, and using tools like multitracking to explore all available alternatives.

So, are you ready to set sail on the sea of decision-making? How will you apply these techniques to make better, more risk-aware decisions? Let’s start a conversation that could change the way we all make decisions.

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 http://www.riskacademy.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.


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