In this note:

Thoughts on Managing Risk

Thoughts on Risk

* Thoughts on Risk
* From the Blog
* Link to the new ebook


Risk is been a recurring theme in conversations this past month.

The road starts with a discussion identifying the current state of the business. Further down the path, we get into a vision of the future and a peek at what is happening in other industries – especially fast changing, industries going through massive upheaval. This leads to recognition. The realization that the business being discussed is changing and there may be an opportunity to take advantage of a small gap in knowledge, but that realization requires action.

In comes the risk. It’s been said more eloquently by others, but my take is when the value is apparent, the risk is minimized but when the value is nebulous at best, the risk is huge.

But the opportunity is the same regardless of perceived value.

Mentally drifting back to notes from the book, “If the Buddah Got Stuck”, I’m reminded of how we make decisions and the value we ascribe to events. Risk is defined as the possibility of loss or injury as well as the chance that an investment will lose value. So what’s risky to one party is not seen as a risk to a separate group. It’s perception. The adage applies, “Perception is Reality”.

The job of all business development people is to help shape that perception in order for prospects to make good decisions. To help prospects succeed.

So what does this have to do with risk?

Risk is perception. We don’t perceive the danger in taking a shower each day, but the CDC reports that we’ll have over 1 million falls this year and over 17,000 of those will be fatal. My perception is that my risk is low, until I slip in the shower because someone took a particularly luxurious bath the night before (ahem). It doesn’t change the risk and I’m told the benefits of showering brings enough value to take on the risk.

Terrible example I’m sure, but you get my point. If you knew you couldn’t fail, you would move forward. If you’re pretty sure you won’t fail, you move forward.

Here’s my advice, when faced with a risk, take a turn to the negative. Come up with a list of worst case scenarios and work from that. A year from now, faced with those terrible results, could you live with it? Are you out of business? Are you out of a job?

As human beings we’re not particularly good at predicting the future but we’re unbelievable at reconstructing and trying to learn from mistakes. View risk from a future terrible result and get better results.

It works. Swear.


If you haven’t visited the best blog on North 53rd St lately, I have some highlights for you along with a link to my latest free report, “Unlock the Hidden Value in Your Customer Base”:

First up, selling advice from Dennis Minton:
Dennis Minton
– Sell Right
– Study Right
– Work Right
– Live Right

Some of my entries:
Marrying your Content Strategy and your SEO Strategy – how strong SEO/Usability practices have successfully rebranded as Content Marketing
Marry Content and SEO

Big Data and High School Basketball – thoughts from too much bleacher time
Big Data and High School Basketball

Account Based Approach: What Marketing can learn from Sales – A webinar from Demandbase that is great
Account Based Marketing

Local Search Engine Marketing and Business Cards – short thoughts on local search
Local Search Marketing

“Find-Hate-Lose-Repeat” Will Kill You Eventually – Job Search Advice from Hugh McLeod – self explanatory
Hugh McLeod

Amazon.com and Selling Business to Business – competing against the endless aisle
Selling against Amazon.com


The Twitter/LinkedIn pole marking has continued. Some favorites:

Get your email inbox emptied – Mark Hurst’s GoodToDo list tool really works

More on basketball and data, with gambling added in!

Gladwell on Football, Penn and Concussions – worth the wait

And my latest quick read e-book, Unlock the Hidden Value in Your Customer Base.

Unlock the Hidden Value in Your Customer Database

Download it and pass it around. Don’t cost nuthin’.

Good stuff.