Bill Conerly of Forbes “Gets” Firestorm Expert Council Member’s Risk Message

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On Uncertainty and Risk Management

In a recent Forbes article, Bill Conerly discusses uncertainty and risk management, referencing Firestorm Expert Council member Gary Patterson’s book, Million Dollar Blinds Spots: 20/20 Vision for Financial Growth.

Mr. Conerly “gets” Mr. Patterson’s thesis: unearth key risk areas and identify opportunities leading to sustainable growth, buzz-worthy customer value, and impressive profitability, while simplifying to foster faster, better decision-making.

It’s a commonsense approach to risk management.

Mr. Conerly summarizes Gary’s risk response categories well:

  • avoidance (don’t do the act which brings forth the risk),
  • reduction (reduce the probability of the event or the damage of the event),
  • sharing (spread the risk, such as through insurance), and
  • acceptance (live with it).”

ConerlyQuoteMoreover, Mr. Conerly’s attitude toward the Black Swan Event is sound and practical: “… those black swans do pop up every now and then. I can’t really worry about each one, but I can develop a flexible stance that will help me be resilient in the face of the unforeseen.”

Survivors survive because they adapt and exhibit economic flexibility.

In a recent article on from Gary, Your hidden fiscal danger: Managing to the numbers, Gary posits that in the zeal to consistently reach numerical goals, the organization begins to fall for the temptation to stretch some quarters to reach targets and even to slow down—even hitting the brakes—rather than bringing in too much income above the target number in another quarter.

The result: in their ever increasing focus on attaining short-term numbers, leaders can lose focus on making the best long-term decisions to build value. This also boxes them in, in the Black Swan scenario. No flexibility.

Says Gary Patterson “The categorization of a particular risk depends on the nature of the firm’s business. For example, credit risk for a seller of earthmoving equipment may be high impact–high probability, while credit risk for a direct seller of children’s clothes may be low probability–low impact. The impact and probability, along with the nature of a company’s business, determines how a particular event is categorized.

FiscalDocThere is a range of options then, that an entity has for responding to a particular risk. Decisions about risk response within an organization that has effective risk management are made in the context of a firm’s risk appetite and a portfolio view of risks in the aggregate.

Keeping this sophisticated risk management topic at a commonsense level, never lose sight of “the reason why” to predict, plan and perform: increasing long term revenues, bottom line results and better lifestyle since you now will reduce stress by making and keeping more money.

To learn more about Gary’s book, visit his website at

Read more from Bill Conerly at Forbes here

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