Working In Uncertainty

Progressive risk control integrated with strategy and performance management

by Matthew Leitch, first published 21 November 2008.

This interactive article explores the idea of keeping risk control (i.e. risk management and internal control) interesting and useful to people by repeatedly improving the methods used by each team, building on their previous progress rather than just updating it. The idea is to keep up a flow of fresh insights. Along the way, risk control is closely integrated with other management thinking. The technical basis for the improvements is to develop mental models as the basis for management thinking, including risk analysis. The interactive polls in this article provided information about what most people think and you can see it as you work through. You can do the interactive version of this article and answer the questions yourself, which is more involving, or you can just click through to the non-interactive version.

Key words: risk management, internal control, performance management, strategy, Balanced Scorecard, Kaplan & Norton, Constructive Simplicity, Chapman & Ward.

Non-interactive version

Some common ground

Before getting into the technicalities of mental models and the derivation of risk analyses, let's establish some common ground about what would make sense for management thinking processes, if we knew how to do it.

This article is interactive so that I learn something from you as you are learning from me. So far I've learned that most people already believe the main principles promoted by the article, even though they sometimes conflict with common practices, so I hope the technical suggestions included in the article are useful.

For each of the questions just click once on the button in the box that holds the answer you prefer and then the next part of the article will appear. If you come out of the page your progress should be saved in a cookie and when you go in again you will be offered the opportunity to carry on. (The technology used is dynamic HTML, Javascript, and a cookie, so it should work on the most common browsers and you can view the code, if you like, to confirm it is safe.)

Incidentally, you will see the same text whatever answers you give. Most people who start continue to the end, even if they don't agree entirely with the views I express.


Made in England


Words © 2008 Matthew Leitch. First published 21 November 2008.