Risk management and asking “What if?

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It is not reasonable to expect that we can absolutely know everything about those things that can affect anything we undertake to do, there are always elements of risk that we need to consider.

A farmer plants a crop at a particular time of year in anticipation that the weather conditions will be conducive to a successful harvest. A miner will dig a mine expecting it to yield a quantity of ore and sell it at a certain price. A traveller plans an itinerary that supports the trip they wish to make.  In each case the expected outcome can be significantly affected through unexpected events. There may be an extreme weather event affecting crop growth, demand for the mined ore may collapse along with its price or a volcano may erupt affecting flight schedules.

When planning to undertake any endeavour and with the realisation that there must be inherent risks we should always be prepared to ask ‘What if …?’

Only when we ask this question can we explore the ramifications of what we plan on doing. It is only then that we can explore options that may mitigate the risks and to decide if the benefits are worth the possibility of failure.

With an understanding of the risks, a level of confidence in how likely they are to be realised and plans on how to mitigate or avoid the risk we can then make a reasoned decision on how to progress.

When undertaking any activity it is always worthwhile to have a Plan B.

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