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Let’s look on the bright side of life

In 2005, Steve Jobs (former CEO of Apple) said during a speech at Stanford University “there is opportunity in every adversity”. We found this statement while carrying out some research on project risk management for PMI® way back in 2013. What attracted us to it was the word opportunity. We have previously talked about upside risks, or opportunities as defined in the standards, and how ‘they’ are things that might happen by chance, that if they did, would have a beneficial outcome on one or more of our (project) objectives. Turning adversity into opportunity would appear to us to be something that we can do quite naturally. Rather than becoming depressed or morbid because something bad has happened, given the right stimulus or frame of mind, we can often make things better; either by choice or identifying and influencing resultant upside risks. This is what Steve Jobs was talking about and what perhaps should become more of our focus when discussing upside risks and upside risk management.

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