Summary of Surviving and Thriving in Uncertainty

Looking for the book?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 10 minutes.

Surviving and Thriving in Uncertainty book summary
Start getting smarter:
or see our plans

Rating

8

Qualities

  • Innovative
  • Applicable

Recommendation

Hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, economic crises, political uprisings, financial panics: These “once-in-a-lifetime” events seem to be occurring with increasing regularity, and companies are scrambling to stay abreast. Risk management practices can protect your firm’s assets, but surviving a corporate ordeal is no longer enough; today, firms must grow and thrive amid ambiguity, information overload and, often, chaos. Consultants Frederick Funston and Stephen Wagner show you how to upgrade your risk management to “risk intelligence” so you can find opportunities amid crises. They interviewed military professionals, first responders, mountain climbers and astronauts, along with business leaders, to get the inside track on what dealing with risk for a living is like. Their book presents knowledge that may be familiar to informed readers, but the authors package it in a user-friendly format, interspersing their ideas with interview excerpts, case studies and useful questions to guide firms in undertaking new risk intelligence efforts. getAbstract recommends their work to directors, CEOs and risk managers.

About the Authors

Stephen Wagner recently retired from Deloitte & Touche LLP, where Frederick Funston is a principal. Funston pioneered the concept of risk intelligence.

 

Summary

Risky Business

Events can overcome businesses rapidly, showing the danger of unmanaged risk. Take the 2008 fiscal crisis: In just three weeks that March, Bear Stearns collapsed after 85 years in business. British money manager Peloton, having earned 87% returns on $10 billion in clients’ funds in 2007, disappeared “almost overnight.” And US home foreclosures leaped 225% in two years.

Directors and executives are responsible for preparing for such contingencies, if not necessarily for predicting them. But ill-informed, time-pressed directors and increasing CEO turnover can result in inadequate safeguards against unexpected crises. Without the right data and tools to judge a firm’s risk profile, top leaders often shun any risk taking, rather than focusing on how measured, acknowledged risk can enhance their firms’ value and long-term outlook. A company needs “resilience” to endure a crisis and “agility” to change and adapt to unforeseen events.

“Conventional risk management,” which relies on statistical probabilities and accepted wisdom based on past events, can’t protect a firm from the “once-in-a-lifetime crises” that belie their name and occur with frightening...


More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

Political Risk
10
Return on Courage
7
Too Smart for Our Own Good
8
The Psychology of Money
7
Why Wall Street Matters
7
Strategy Beyond the Hockey Stick
9

Related Channels

Comment on this summary

  • Avatar
  • Avatar
    J. C. 9 years ago
    Wagner and Funston challenge my thinking about risk taking. Great examples are referenced from which we all can learn...