Looking at risk through the lens of business, it is both incredibly interesting and complex. Risk is defined as a situation that involves exposure to danger. In business, risk is looked at in a broader sense, being defined as anything that can prevent the company from achieving its objectives. At surface level, it seems as if businesses would want to completely avoid risky situations so as not to jeopardize their objective. At the same time, not all problems and risks are avoidable, so you have to learn how to take precautionary steps to minimize risk when it inevitably occurs. In the situation, and in your own life, it is important to practice risk management.
Risk management is mostly practiced within the accounting department of a company. Anytime an investment is made, there is risk associated at varying levels of severity. One must consider external factors such as the general market highs and lows, inflation, recession, etc. In the last decade, companies have expanded the process of risk management to account for other areas of their practice as well. We now see companies with expansive crisis communication plans in case of an emergency or tragic occurrence in which their company/product killed, injured or mistreated anyone. Other efforts in company-wide risk management include insurance, “best practices” guidelines for employees and speech/Q&A coaching for company spokespeople.
This all makes so much sense when you think about it. Companies don’t want to lose money, get sued or do anything that will negatively impact their reputation, so they plan ahead and identify issues before they arise to minimize damage. What about personal risk-management? Are we using these guidelines in our own lives? Probably not. Personally, I know that I don’t always think big picture for my own life. Generally, I know what targets I am aiming for, but there is a lot more room to be proactive and plan for potential risks. I’m sure I’m not the only one who gets caught up in the “day-to-day.” By taking a step back and assessing potential risk in your future, you have a chance to get ahead of it and put your best foot forward when the situation arises. For a lot of us that work really hard at our jobs, it’s easy to forget that the planning and strategic thinking we do for our businesses can and should also be applied to our own lives. I recently heard a great speaker at an event focused on women-owned businesses. She said, “How are you supposed to be the CEO of a company, if you aren’t the CEO of your own life?” That’s what I want to leave you with today. Remember that your own life is just as important, and your work life and you can use the same strategy that is used to progress businesses to help you achieve personal goals. It’s great to do a good job at work but remember to be strategic about your “big picture” situation and become the CEO of your life.