March 2018
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Don’t Reinforce Failure

Throwing good money after bad may not be smart, but it sure is popular.

Everyone has a plan for where they want to go, but few think through what to do if they don’t get there. There is a difference between being tenacious and being stubborn – and it can be easier to identify than many think. [...]

Dangerous Project Team Behaviour

A great list of From Michael Krigsman’s piece Early warnings: The IT project failure dilemma (part 1)

Wishful thinking: We’ll be able to launch on time, because we really want to.

Self-congratulation: We’ve been working awfully hard, so we must be making good progress.

Testosterone: Nobody’s going to see us fail. We ROCK!

Doom-and-gloom fatalism: We’ll just keep coming in [...]

Everyone Likes Surprises

An awful lot of crisis management can be avoided, but we’re just not interested.

We like surprises. Most of us like being surprised by presents on our birthdays and lots of us seem to like being surprised by disasters at work. A fire causes water damage and we are surprised when the insurance company cannot wave a magic wand and replace all of our systems instantly. A key employee accepts an offer at a competitor and our reaction is shock, surprise, and sometimes anger, but rarely planned.

You’ve Assessed Your Risk. Now What?

Riccardo Rebonato questions what we expect to our risk analyses to tell us.

“There is another aspect that current risk-management thinking does not seem to handle in a very satisfactory way: how to go from probabilistic assessments to decisions. Managing risk in general, and managing financial risk in particular, is clearly a case of decision-making under uncertainty… [...]

Your Bank Bought Subprime Loans. How About Greek Bonds?

What might happen can matter more that whether it will happen.

The potential gain from snatching up pennies from in front of a steamroller seems less attractive when you consider the potential loss. Risk management is likewise often more effective if we look at the potential effects of an event than whether or not the event will occur. [...]

Life Looks Just a Little More Mathematical And Regular Than It Is

“The real trouble with this world of ours is not that it is an unreasonable world, nor even that it is a reasonable one. The commonest kind of trouble is that it is nearly reasonable, but not quite. Life is not an illogicallity; yet it is a trap for logicians. It looks just a little more [...]

Managing Political Risk in High-Risk Countries

Keeping a low profile is not always enough

Iran has forced a German company, Knauf Gips KG, to issue a letter threatening to dismiss any employee that participates in protests against the Iranian government. The firm says it issued the letter in order to secure the release of an employee, a dual German-Iranian citizen, who was arrested [...]

Green Shoots and Dark Clouds

Prediction is a difficult business

The news is full of stories claiming to see the bottom of the recession or the proof of recovery, while others claim the worst is yet to come. Choosing between hoping for the best and preparing for the worst is hard – and delay is not an option for everyone.

There is an [...]

So You Thought The Hiring Process Was Hard…

Why Integrating Your New Foreign Hire Matters

Human resources risk is often overlooked – and if there’s one thing that a risk should never be, it is ignored. In good times, strong profits and strong growth can mask unnecessary, overlooked losses. In bad times, they can mean the difference between profit and loss.

The hiring process is usually [...]

Comparing Apples to Oranges and Other Common Mistakes

An Introduction to Portfolio Risk Management

How do you manage different types of risk across different types of activities? How do you gather and manage the risk information? How do you compare the risks to each other and your overall risk profile?

How do you avoid the risk of quantifying all of your risks and thereby reducing them [...]