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Readiness Recipes

The Risk Manager

August 24, 2012 by Dr. Jon Warner in Readiness Recipes

The Risk Manager

Every decision carries with it a need to evaluate the potential risk of success or failure. Such decisions range from the apparently trivial to highly strategic and important. However trivial or strategic these decisions may be at face level, they should all evaluate the risk associated with being right or wrong, and to do this there are two key criteria that are often used. The first is the likelihood or frequency criterion which asks us to evaluate how often possible risks (whatever they may be) present themselves. The second criterion is the consequences of our decision (or what is also sometimes called the potential severity of impact). This is simply to ask how serious would it be (on a person, the team or the whole organization) if things were to go wrong. In combination, the calculation of likelihood and consequences gives us a “decision risk profile” and it is this that should ideally guide a manager’s thinking.

Ingredients:Readiness Recipes

  • Big picture thinking ability
  • Cost consciousness
  • Critical thinking ability
  • Decision-making ability
  • Forward thinking skills
  • Safety focus

Ingredients should be added, blended well and left to mature over time:

  • Big picture thinking ability: This refers to a manager’s capacity to link specific events, tasks and actions in a wider perspective or pattern.
  • Cost consciousness: This refers to a manager’s capacity to remain constantly aware of the need to ultimately generate more income than expenses in all their efforts.
  • Critical thinking ability: This refers to a manager’s capacity to think rigorously and broadly about issues, challenges or problems and to optimize the route to finding potential solutions that work.
  • Decision-making ability: This refers to a manager’s ability to maintain focus on the results or goals that matter or are important and make timely and clear decisions that help one’s self and others move forward positively.
  • Forward thinking skills: This refers to a manager’s capacity to think about the consequences of current actions and behavior and to prepare accordingly.
  • Safety focus: This refers to a manager’s ability to appreciate the dangers and potential problems that may exist in a workplace on a day-to-day basis and seek to minimize their impact.
The Risk Manager has all of these ingredients; no substitutions or omissions can be made to the recipe.

“Readiness Recipes” is a new article series exploring 26 different kinds of managers A-Z and the key ingredients that each needs for success. Stay tuned for more recipes and thanks for reading!

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About Dr. Jon Warner

Dr. Jon Warner is a prolific author, management consultant and executive coach with over 25 years experience. He has an MBA and a PhD in Organizational Psychology. Jon can be reached at

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About the Editor and Primary Author

Jon Warner

Jon Warner is an executive coach and management consultant and in the past has been a CEO in three very different companies. Read more

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