Summary of The Uncertainty Advantage

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Businesses face many risks, both anticipated and unforeseen. To protect against these threats, companies often turn inward and pour resources into ever-expanding risk management departments. But there is an alternative approach: Embrace uncertainties and make them work for you. Karen Avery and Gary Lynch, two leading risk and strategy consultants, have coined this strategy the “uncertainty advantage.” Writing for strategy+business magazine, Avery and Lynch call upon leaders to be bold. getAbstract recommends their inspiring article and its practical case studies to senior executives and strategy consultants.  

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why businesses that focus excessively on risk mitigation don’t take advantage of their full potential;
  • How businesses can turn uncertainty into an advantage; and
  • How a proactive, market-oriented approach to risk management can lead to unexpected growth opportunities.

About the Authors

Karen Avery is a strategic consultant at PwC, specializing in the health care sector. Gary Lynch is a risk consultant and author of Uncertainty Advantage: Leadership Lessons for Turning Risk Outside-In.



Most companies focus on managing and mitigating risks. Yet such an approach isn’t only passive and status quo-oriented, but it also fails to protect businesses from unexpected catastrophes. Instead, firms should view uncertainties as an opportunity to develop and strengthen their capabilities – a strategy called the “uncertainty advantage.” Adopting a proactive risk strategy benefits companies in three ways:

  1. Finding new “growth opportunities” – When Western pharmaceutical companies in China began to face a more restrictive business environment and the threat of government...

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