What is risk? Is it a real danger or just an opportunity in disguise? Can it be out-manoeuvred or is it something to be embraced and worked with?
When companies are developing their business strategies, risk may be mentioned in passing (and even then, frequently misunderstood) but is rarely seen as a key component of the strategic decision-making process. This can lead to unforeseen complications - strategy is all about making decisions that concern an uncertain future and so risk should play a significant role in that process.
The handling or understanding of risk is often delegated to specialists and much of what is written about risk is, due to its complexity, inaccessible to the majority of senior managers. Risky Strategy aims to make the consideration of risk more accessible and understandable and, in doing so, develop a common language and understanding for recognising and handling it.
Based on research carried out by Ashridge Business School, as well as case studies of the strategic decision-making process in action, Jamie MacAlister takes the subject out of the textbooks and brings it engagingly to life. Drawing on lessons from Apple to Procter & Gamble, from Napoleon to Nelson, from Roger Federer to Sir Alex Ferguson, and from Pythagorus to Sir Isaac Newton, Risky Strategy provides a new and dynamic perspective on risk, demonstrating how and when to take the right risk, and knowing how to recognise the common risks that can derail even the most well-planned projects.
Jamie MacAlister teaches at Hult International Business School and Ashridge Executive Education, and is an experienced commercial manager, strategist, facilitator and executive coach. He specialises in risk in strategy and commercial management. Previously, he worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers as a management consultant and has held management roles with Procter & Gamble, Comco and RM Education.
1. Introduction: the context 2. Where strategy meets risk 3. Strategic decision making 4. The essence of risk 5. When winning is risky 6. Mitigating risk 7. Individual risk 8. Group risk 9. Corporate risk 10. Risk in information 11. Risk in relationships 12. Taking the right risk 13. Conclusion