Lessons from the Headlines

The headlines are full of  trainwrecks.  Personal disasters, Corporate disasters, Political disasters, Economic disasters, Natural disasters.

Problems — run amok.

I have a saying —- “Its not the size of the problem — its the size of the hole that gets created when the problem blows up.”  Don’t measure things in terms of their current noise or backlash, measure them in terms of what might happen if the problem runs out of control.  Being able to see “the size of the hole that might get created” and reacting so that scenario doesn’t play out is really the right kind of risk management.

The current Gulf Oil spill got me thinking.

Why is it that things have to get out-of-hand before we’ll step-up and deal with them?  Has our tolerance for risk grown or perhaps has our vision of risk changed ?  Maybe the pace of competition requires us to run faster and hotter than we used to.  Or maybe its just about money — and in this tough economy we can’t afford to protect from the worse cases so we just accept the possibility and hope for the best.

As the headlines show, experience is often a very painful teacher — I’m going to rethink my own business model and try to prevent the blowouts.

About dougcurling

a compassionate capitalist
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