This weekend most of you will be at home, catching up with family, sharing a meal and giving thanks. The only risk involved in this process is the high chance of bickering. When the festivities are over though, a lot of you will make a long journey home by car. That’s something that does require a bit of risk management.
The long drive home actually makes a great point about the risk management process. Long drives are one of those things that get a lot of hair-brained risk management. There is a certain amount of conventional wisdom that gets passed around about long drives, very little of it is useful and most of it is dangerous.
Conventional Wisdom and Risk
The big risk associated with a long drive is the risk of falling asleep at the wheel. You’ve had a celebratory weekend. You’ve had drinks, late nights and lots of food, when you get into that car you’re likely to be tired. So you apply the traditional risk management process to the drive. You do one or all of the following:
-Drive with the windows down
-Play loud music
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-Drink lots of coffee
Each of these is supposed to keep you awake. They might stave off sleep for a little while, but each one is an awful idea. The loud music makes you less aware of what’s happening around you. The window just makes you cold and distracted by the rush of air and coffee used as a stimulant is the definition of a temporary measure. Stimulants work for a while but the energy is artificial, you know what happens when that energy dissipates? You crash, figuratively and literally.
The Risk Management Process
A proper risk management process ignores these temporary or flawed methods. A proper process involves the methodical assessment and management of risk. It involves preventing risk through statistically proven methods. True risk management involves the assessment of everything from the risks to the risk management process itself.
The lesson is simple, don’t rely on conventional wisdom or that free advice you got from a buddy to manage risk. In your personal life, as well as in business, you should always talk to an expert about risk management.
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