Common Risk Ailment: Risk Blindness

For many businesses, much of their risk-taking is embodied in the projects they perform. The medical metaphor can be helpful to explain recurrent issues, using a recognized medical condition to shed light on a difficulty that causes people to be ineffective in the way they manage risk. By drawing parallels between the medical condition and the risk management problem, I explore why it matters and how it can be addressed.

Risk Blindness

“Risk blindness” is the condition of being unaware of the existence of risk. “Seeing is believing,” so when others mention risk, a risk-blind person or organization doesn’t understand what they are talking about. They believe that people who claim to see risk are delusional, shadow-boxing, and fighting imaginary foes. Risk blindness is a serious ailment that can have a major negative impact on organizations and projects. Recovering from risk blindness is usually a gradual process; it is common for the risk-blind to gain risk sight incrementally. Organizations or project teams that want to avoid surprises and learn to become responsive rather than reactive will recognize the need for treatment and support until they can see clearly for themselves.

To learn more about “risk blindness” and other common risk ailements, check out my new book The Risk Doctor’s Cures for Common Risk Ailments.

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Management Concepts
Project & Program Management
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