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Always look on the bright side of life

The word risk will inevitably mean something potentially bad and therefore the thought that a risk management process is anything more than a process to deal with things that might harm you or your project will be a strange idea. While the concept that risk can be both positive and negative is easy for most to accept, it can be difficult to make the standard risk management process work for upside risks or opportunities. Our experience of risk management has programmed us to think negatively. We find it difficult to switch to a mindset where we look for positive things that might happen and would really improve the achievement of objectives (e.g. earlier, cheaper, delighted stakeholders and enhanced reputation). In the current economic climate, it seems easy to dwell on the downside risks. We need to fight against that to identify the opportunities that are out there – if only we know how to ask the right question.

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