SURPRISE!  Just when you thought you had it all figured out something happens that derails your strategy.

Let’s go back in time.  You and your team spent many hours working through your strategy.  You did extensive market research.  You identified your niche.  You developed a great offer.  You invested in developing your capability to serve your customers.  And, for quite a while, everything was going great.  Sure, you had hiccups, unexpected things that happened, and the team gathered together and solved the problems.  But not this time.  This latest event is too much.  The team is divided.  Your existing customers are not happy. And you don’t know what to do.


Risks are potential future events that impact your objectives.  Risks come in a variety of forms and have a range of impacts on your business objectives.  Some risks are manageable, and some are not.


Can you change things so that more risks are manageable?  Absolutely.  And we’re not talking about insurance.  We’re talking about what you can do to increase your ability to deal with unexpected or undesired events.

The steps are simple:

  • Be clear on what your objectives are. Clear objectives describe the minimum that you must achieve to be successful.
  • Identify ways in which your vision of the future might differ. What could happen?
  • Understand how these potential futures would impact your business.
  • Identify the ones that would prevent you from achieving your objectives.
  • Figure out what you can do to be successful even if they happened.

These five steps lead to a “Risk Enabled Strategy”.

Looks simple, it is.  So why don’t more businesses do this?  Two important human characteristics get in the way.  First, biases.  Biases keep us aligned to our past, what we are familiar with.  Biases prevent us from thinking differently.  Second, fear.  Try the above.  It will start to feel overwhelming.  Too much work.  Not worth it.  This is fear.  What’s scarier, doing the work, or suffering a catastrophic failure?


If you want to be ready for the next surprise, then make the choice to develop a Risk Enabled Strategy.