Taking Risks – January’s London Peer Learning Group Event Update

20 January 2017

Taking Risks – January’s London Peer Learning Group Event Update

If you didn't manage to make it along to January’s London Peer Learning Group event, on-the-night facilitator and regular attendee Adrian Gregory has provided a summary here:

Taking risks are an everyday part of working – everything is changing. The session was focused to try to capture all attendees’ views and experiences towards practical risk taking in an ever changing personal, socially interactive and complex business world. Tips and ideas on risk were shared, enhanced by the very wide spread roles and responsibilities held in the captive audience. The underlying theme was to manage and improve the odds better in our favour.

Risk was defined as the potential or probability of Profit or Loss. Taking Risks are all about having sufficient courage to take the risks on. Clearly the need to do that must be matched by the returns or rewards to be gained. Time must be giving to identifying and quantifying any inherent risks through Risk Assessment. Risk Management can then hopefully result in a simple, not simpler, plan of action with potential reaction plans to mitigate new risks or consequences that may subsequently arise.

The attendees highlighted their challenges to taking risks. A good mental preparation was felt key to becoming comfortable and feeling ‘safe’ to take risks. Some felt part of this preparation was to ensure extensive investigation and analysis. Taking calculated risks still meant uncertainty of the ‘outcome of risk’, but, the courage to take risk had to be won over by the strength of the ‘need’ to act. Taking risks ‘is’ risky! Boosting our courage by taking on small risks first would strengthen our character, enabling us to win over our colleagues for more material business opportunities and any arising consequences. Decision making and taking on more operational risks, which cannot be avoided, was always challenging. New risks meant more likely a lack of information -- requiring more uncertainty analysis. Time, resources, predicting action or inaction of our competitors; consequences of taking or not taking risks; “rocking” the boat through disruptive risk-led innovation; over working, perfectionist thinking; understanding the barriers to taking risk were all felt particularly challenging requiring clarity in our understanding of the associated risk vs reward, Risk Management specialism and effective communication before acting – improving the odds better in our favour.

Societal risks and projects where consequential outcomes have magnified exposure risks are increasingly having to be addressed. This is creating new thinking as these types of risks are emotional too -- adding a new dimension to businesses taking risks in the future. Information is spread globally in an instant - managing the exposure in our favour is not always possible in these circumstances. 

Adrian is a Principal Upstream Consultant at MORE Oil & Gas Plc and can be contacted via email 

The Chartered Management Institute London Peer Learning Group is where like-minded managers and leaders of all levels of experience, sectors and locations meet monthly to share their experience and views in a group discussion format. The Group is a part of the London and South East Region.

If you would like to join our future events, spaces are still available for our 8 February event; The Power of Positive Thinking, facilitated by Marwan Elnaghi and Ena Saxena. Please register for your place on the dedicated CMI Events: London Peer Learning Group page.

If you would like to learn more about the London Peer Learning Group, please contact Martyn Brett-Lee