Go Hard and Go Early

This was posted recently on LinkedIn and attracted many comments, most supportive.

Some of you will know that I’m critical of the monstrous belief system that risk management has become; with its own language, codes, symbols, rituals and high priests. Few would now dare to say they don’t believe in ‘risk management’ – even those most (if not all) don’t know what that phrase means. It’s certainty transmogrified (like Frankenstein’s monster) from a simple activity involved with the testing of assumptions as an input to decision making to the vast, self-serving edifices we see today.

I’ve previously said that you won’t find many leaders in the world who are making difficult decisions during the current global crisis reaching for their risk registers or risk appetite statements. One thing we know about good leaders is that they are great at decision making: they are decisive and don’t procrastinate. They gather the views of others about context, look at a range of options and make sure they are clear on the assumptions and the level of certainty each option will lead to their desired outcomes. Then they decide and act swiftly.

All this is true of great surgeons, corporate raiders and generals. They all act hard and act early. (And most would not know a risk register if they tripped over it!)

An excellent analysis has been produced by the (Australian) ABC and shows clearly the difference in the rate of Coronavirus infections and the spread of the disease in countries whose leaders acted hard and early, and those that were or are still dithering. You can access it here.

I’ll let you form your own opinion of your country’s leaders and their decision-making based on this transparent analysis. One thing is clear though, if leaders’ procrastinate – because, variously it will damage their election chances, their population has a good diet, or their people don’t get sick – then it will cost many lives.