Risks are not just about identifying events that, when triggered, could cause problems, even all the defects, and operational issues like none performance, shortage or scarcity of some resource, all the obvious things we were taught that create risk, yes still valid, but now there is more to consider when talking risk. The SWOT analysis is just not good enough; we require some sociological scanning…
The environmental scan is the second tool to use with RISK analysis; for today deeper and unseen aspects prevail, that also impact our risk factors and profile; it could start with any underlying philosophy being promoted, even our way of thinking could be contaminated, anything that rides the strategic train of thought with us, and then takes over at some point from rational and tips us towards the emotional, or abstract side of reasoning. Aha, so risk is not just measurable, tangible, foreseeable, and obvious, it’s also hidden in our metal make-up…and very much so.
Hence, risk identification should also include the people involved in our teams, profile them; for their bias, fears and then most important their ideology. Yes, the very way we are trying to solve a problem, is directly linked to how we are positioned, toward our environment, how we understand it, operate in it, and control it, is strongly influence by our ideology, things we believe in. This aspect could become the actual risk, sometimes only later on, and even a threat to the entire scheme, greater that the initial problems we foresee now… itself.
Thinking and ideology beats incompetence and bad decision hands down today, it’s our ideology that gets our strategies to sink or swim
The Definition of ideology: relates to a system of ideas that explains and lends legitimacy to actions and beliefs of a social, religious, political, or corporate entity. How we feel, and what we believe in; politically, religiously, emotionally, and then think about our colleagues, and the organisation we work for directly manifest in both our behaviour and thinking.
Ideology then becomes a personal constitution
The writing is on the wall, the moment that our choices become totally politically motivated, and informed, then we have totally lost the plot. Strategic solutions; especially in risk mitigation and detection – in mitigating risk – are not solutions if they create more problems of their own. Due to the nature of the design of the solution…
We need clinical thinking, un-ambiguous (unquestionable) thought is required someone once said, especially when we strive to mitigate risk, or identify it, then an open mind is the best tool. Then we all stand equal, like surgeons over a body, sterile, un-tainted.
Be warned, no amount of thinking is common today, it’s all political. This is where we divide people with, and then we force compromises on each other.
Daily life in the corporate arena and on the strategic landscape has become a constant battle of priorities changing at the drop of a hat. Compelling us to act, but act in which manner?
There is a very clear and present danger in this behaviour…when we have to choose to do the thing right, – the politically correct way and score brownie points – or to do the right thing, – doing the actual work required – then we are doomed.
This aspect ripples into all levels of society, and especially globally, when having to make and practice decisions, in a strategic manner. It has impacted as one final prevailing strategic ideology. We are harvesting that what we have sowed.
Society’s choices, affects all our strategies and influence our risks at some point too; our leaders and their strategies dictate what we will get more of – as they tend to now want to lean towards the very liberal way of thinking and doing their own strategy, in all spheres of life what happens at the bottom, flows from the top, its bleeding in everywhere, we have successfully combined our national politics and corporate strategy in the boardrooms today, they have become intertwined, right or wrong, to become a universal endemic and paranoia of liberal ideology.
We want things fast, but we do them very slow – a society favouring gradual – slow – reforms at any cost, change is great, especially political reforms and agendas, (not pointing at actual politics, but corporate) that extend to doing things mostly on consensus now, and no longer taking the rational and logical planning route in some instances, most of what is happening at the operational and tactical level, is now also aiming to be politically correct, even at a strategic level.
This is absurd. We are compromising on all the other aspects, to accommodate only one. The main objective of this ideology is also to flatten the social structure, right throughout society and now business so that the cleaner can tell the CEO, how it’s done, everyone has a voice, and the government is to protect the individual and his/ her personal freedom, as well as the rights of the individual. Even if by their very nature, they are actively busy destroying and undermining the progress and institutions they work for.
Then we are liberal – free. But with this thinking also comes a very observable attribute – denial, no one wants the discipline, structure, and responsibility of this freedom. It creates friction now, you can’t want the one without applying the other. Where strategy has one objective and that is to achieve the objective. Through structure, discipline, responsibility and accountability… these two clash on this aspect…now it’s all out of balance – I am sure you can see the relevance, I am sketching a very dim view here, just to drive the principle home.
Strategy has once again become the art, and tool of deception to ascertain even these objectives with. The point is this, your organisations, and its people are now connected in ways that never before existed, and influence any strategy so much as it does today.
The other problem we have is this; Man was never designed – through his sociological makeup – to be acting as an individual, we are acting contra our design specification, thus all the paranoia.
We are clan program and designed, in this way there has always been discrimination, for the greater good. Changing the rules, does not change the reality – well instantly at least. It takes time.
This is neither a religious nor a political contradict; this is purely an analytical take on an adverse condition emanating through our politically engineered social reforms that is taking place, that now get forced onto strategy and consequently risk profiles, creating new sociological effects, that has a direct effect on all our business and strategic practices.
Whether we want to admit it or not, our personal views impact our strategy and its designs, more so our beliefs as a society, and then the individual, we have become blind to the obvious. We are creating more risk…by trying to artificially stimulate a new form of morality. Nature is cruel we don’t have to be…well I don’t know.
Morality as a central idea, needs no representation of the political ideas which we practice, or must be preceded by any specific laws and rules in order for it to exist and function well, on the contrary, “by-laws” – like affirmative action – aimed at creating normative morality – are contra productive – fact. It creates more risk. The higher the risk the less the opportunities for more and better jobs become.
The danger in that is this; “Focus too much on one narrow thing and you lose sight of the total bigger picture”; what you see so often, even daily, then becomes the norm over time, and your total focus becomes devoured by one aspect of the greater artificial political design, and you do not doubt it anymore. Then you develop blind spots in pursuit of eradicating a perceived evil – like which hunting – one aspect only, cannot be the cause of a chain of events to succumb. No, surely it’s a succession of events, culminating, that creates risk.
This is the strategic trap of too much conformity, to general political ideology, of unconditional acceptance of ideology as fact, of an attempt to engineer social normalisation right throughout society. Then you find things like people only pursuing equity and correcting inequalities, very noble, but seldom worthwhile.
Because of constant change, restraints, and design, if not for the first thing the second would not have followed, there is always something, before there is something else, to consider, and a narrow belief that some good will come of it if we dismember it. It is in no way a defence to the real chaos, even nature discriminates, however, the real flaws are often cloaked in this manner of politics, then overlooked, when bad decision making and leadership compounds this even more…it eventually impedes and destroys us all…
Become politically unstuck, and move on a, A-Political strategic landscape, it is much nicer in any case…and makes for sober decision making…
Unfortunately strategy cuts both ways, both good and bad, it favours none, it’s a double edged cutting sword, it works well in both directions, both promoting good and bad decisions, it serves it masters; it is also (unfortunately at times) the best way of leading people; either by the nose, or just a way of herding them, simply by changing some of their life’s perceptions, and focusing them as a collective on quick fixes, by focusing them on ideas, and ideology. That then seems like a great idea at the time.
When we cannot see the trees from the forest any-more.. Then we are lost. With cleverly devised strategy; you can mask your real goals, and intentions by using the deception of a fake goal that everyone likes, rather than solving the real issues, give them something they will like; like job creation in this instance, so let’s create affirmative action, or blame it on that, if you popularise it enough, then everyone buys into it, and eventually with time it gets taken for granted that that is the real problem, until the real goal is achieved, and then it’s too late to turn back…for those suffering.
This practice of confusing issues is simple; it’s the old principle where you just encourage your opponents to expend their energy on pursuing futile quests, while you conserve your own strength for a bigger agenda. People eventually will give up, and succumb to the continued burden and weight of excuses and promises, and agendas drawn out to a never ending conclusion. Compromise after compromise, is like an axe cutting into the trunk of a tree, you know it’s inevitable, yet you wait.
Exhausted and confused, you sometimes counter attack, trying to defend a weakening position, then immediately all and any rational you apply is bombarded with counter arguments of legitimacy – it’s our right – necessity – we do this because we can’t do the right thing now, even though we want too, we can’t, and then to sweeten the deal, they sugar-coat it for us to swallow – with its moral and even ethical right on cue…
Risk in strategy is always just one excuse away, one argument, one agenda, and one person, one meeting… be sure to know your environment well, the movers and shakers – role-players in it, their agendas, their politics and then the culture of the competition, and your own. For combined, they make a much better, and more accurate risk profile than any statistical report
So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss. If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose. If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself. The Art Of War – Sun Tzu
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