Managing a business in a crisis has become normal, but it’s something to adapt to, learn from and find opportunities in, says Riskwell founder Chris Bird.
A more volatile and uncertain world will mean that businesses will find themselves managing a crisis more and more and those companies that manage risks effectively will gain a competitive advantage.
So said Riskwell co-founder Chris Bird speaking to the assembled guests at the FIDIC Contract Users’ Awards on 29 November 2022: “This year, the word of the year is ‘perma-crisis’, said Bird. “We have seen a Covid crisis, economic crisis, energy crisis, climate crisis and even some political crises. The world is getting more volatile, more uncertain, more complex and more ambiguous, so managing businesses in a crisis will be the norm,” he said.
While the sense of ongoing crisis might cause serious concerns, Bird suggested that it was also a hidden opportunity, saying: “Crisis is a funny word, in Chinese it has two meanings, potential danger and hidden opportunity. Decision risk management is about making the right decisions in a crisis where both threats and opportunities abound.”
Bird made the point that concern about crisis was no excuse for inaction, quoting Barrack Obama, who said that “there is a 30% chance that whatever we choose will not work, but a 70% chance that if we do nothing, it would end in disaster.”
He said that risk management requires three elements. “People are first, as it requires those thoughts and insights which can be flawed by biases. Secondly, knowledge, which can be flawed by blind spots, hidden information and unknown unknowns and finally, the business systems and data systems to help evaluate and understand the choices we have.”
To help the engineering and construction sector better understand this environment, Bird announced that Riskwell, a company providing risk management software solutions and consultancy services, had teamed up with FIDIC to hold a training event on 14 December 2022 focusing on introductory concepts of risk management, specifically tailored towards the engineering business environment.
The practical workshop, An Introduction to Decision Risk Management for Engineers, would focus on why, how, and what decision risk management is and look at all the pitfalls to poor risk identification across project construction and asset environments.
Urging his audience to sign up for the workshop, Bird concluded by reminding those present that “if you manage risks effectively, you will have a major competitive advantage”.