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In the novel Time and Again by Jack Finney, he writes about Einstein’s theory of time travel this way: “we’re mistaken in our conception of what the past, present, and future really are. We think the past is gone, the future hasn’t happened, and that only the present exists. Because the present is all we […]

In celebration of La Fête Nationale, Bastille Day, on July 14 here is an example of some poor risk management on the part of the British. The late historian Robert Sobel once noted that the “British created a civil service job in 1803 calling for a man to stand on the Cliffs of Dover with […]

There’s an old joke about two campers that are awakened by a hungry bear. The first guy yells ‘run’ but the second guy stops to put on his running shoes on first. The first guy asks if his companion really thinks that the shoes will help him out run the bear. To which the second […]

One of the hardest parts in documenting your risks is figuring out the root cause of the risk being analyzed. If this is done poorly, we will spend time and money treating the wrong root causes and the risk may only get worse. Take the Great Plague of 1665 that killed 1/6 of London’s population. […]

If there are two things you have noticed about this blog, I often write about zombies and the Moment of Risk Enlightenment. Today’s post combines both. (Note: This post contains spoilers about season two of the Walking Dead.) I was catching up on season two of the “post-apocalyptic” television show The Walking Dead this week. […]

There’s a nail in the tire of my wife’s car. Rear driver side. Fat head pushed all the way in. It caught her eye on the weekend by accident while the car sat in the driveway. Tire pressure appears normal. Is this a risk? Since getting a flat tire could cause her to fail to […]

  Yesterday I wrote about a white paper “Black Swans Turn Grey” from PwC. Here’s a footnote to that post. I had a good chuckle when I read about these “new black swan risks”. The authors suggest that all these unknown unknowns and unpredictable events are happening more frequently these days. This of course is […]

Eddard (Ned) Stark, Lord of Winterfell, is a protagonist in the book A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin. He is principled and tells the truth and believes in honour and justice. Ned would make an excellent Chief Risk Officer. When King Robert Baratheon asked him to become the Hand of the King – […]

  In his book “Outliers”, author Malcolm Gladwell explains how “The kinds of errors that cause plane crashes are invariably errors of teamwork and communication” as opposed to mechanical causes. Also, they usually happen after a sequence of mistakes and misfortunes and rarely because of one event. Our respective cultures dictate how we work and […]

When my son was 7-years old he asked me what I did for a living. I explained that “Daddy goes to companies and helps them find where all the bad things are.” Ironically, this definition served me well when I had to explain what ERM was to grown ups. While others were quoting definitions from […]