Survival Guide For Russian Roulette/Risk Acceptance

Risk acceptance is a bit like Russian Roulette, one of the chamber spinning and trigger pulling will get real.

However, for most of businesses, choosing not to play is simply not an option. Not playing either leads to opportunity or financial loss.

Can be worse, think an unrealistic risk mitigation strategy that is costly, taking long time to implement, which eventually delays the initiative and mitigates a risk that is no longer relevant.

Reading up to here, some may shout out “you amatuer, there are operational risks, reputational risks and all that, not just $$$ risk”.

Keep calm and read on.

Russian Roulette Risk Acceptance.jpg


As shown in my mastery drawing/diagram below, paths lead to $$$ and whether you can afford it as a business.

Appropriate controls to reduce likelihood and impact will help one get more smiley and cool faces - that is, less chance to stuff up and even if we do, acceptable loss.

Same diagram can also be used to communicate technical operational risks and ambiguous reputation risks to the business - drawing the line to profit/loss, share price dive, business interruption, future business impediment and all that - speak the language they speak.

All in all, with the aid of the diagram, here is survival guide for Russian Roulette/Risk Acceptance,

  1. What is the reward and what is at stake?

  2. Is reward significantly greater than the stake?

  3. Can I afford to game if I lose all?

  4. Have I done everything possible to protect or avoid a loss?

  5. If you don’t get 3 yes from question 2,3,4, then it is probably a good idea not to play.