Fantastic Mr. Fox risk management

I took my kids to see the Fantastic Mr. Fox movie this weekend. I thought it was quite delightful. I highly recommend it even if you do not have kids because an animated George Clooney is fantastic.

For those of you familiar with the book, it is quite different but in many respects very much the same. In both the book and the film, Mr. Fox is stealing chickens, ducks, turkeys, and cider each night from three mean and wealthy farmers: Boggis, Bunce and Bean.

To retaliate, the farmers wait outside of his foxhole one night and manage only to shoot off his tail. Keen on catching him, they use shovels and spades and eventually bulldozers in an attempt to dig their way into Mr. Fox’s home. Fox and family dig a tunnel deeper into the ground and eventually into the farms of Boggis, Bunce and Bean, stealing their chickens, ducks, turkeys, and cider from right under their noses. Meanwhile, the three farmers are still waiting at the foxhole.

Clearly, these farmers have done a poor job managing their Fox Risk. Although they identified and assessed the Fox Risk, they did a poor job developing an adequate action plan for treating the risk, as Mr. Fox et al were able to break in on numerous occasions eventually stealing all of their respective assets.

Next, the farmers became so obsessed with killing the fox that they abandoned their farms entirely, thus exposing themselves to additional losses. They would have been smarter to have spent their resources re-assessing the impact and likelihood of Mr. Fox stealing their remaining assets then updated their action plans accordingly.

In today’s modern world, if your firewall was attacked repeatedly and eventually breached, would you upgrade your IT security or drive over to the hacker’s house and wait in the driveway with guns drawn waiting for him to come out? This is ill advised.

Remember, try to spend your time and money treating the right risks the right way.

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