Risk is a fact of life. Some seek to avoid it. Others seek it out. Those that do the former might end up spending almost every waking hour yet in bed waiting for nightfall when they can legitimate shut-eye. Others might seek to hit the bounds of risk so hard that they end up like Dean Potter and Graham Hunt who died BASE-jumping on Saturday in Yosemite National Park. [Read HERE.] Obviously, between these extremes is where most of humanity strikes its level of risk reward and avoidance.
[In fact, I wonder if you could take the Big Five perosnality traits and run them along a 1-5 Likert scale in an effort to show this bell curve. In other words, should it be identified as neuroticism, conscientiousness, agreeableness, openness, and extroversion. Just a thought. Returning now …]
In yesterday’s post, I noted that the BBC had done 6 part series called Digital Human. Interestingly, the first episode is dedicated to a program on Risk. [Listen HERE.] The series talks largely about how our brains have mechanisms for processing risk which are not sufficiently evolved for the technological world into which we have and continue to move.
Along the course of my life’s run, I have had the opportunity to intellectually think as well as to experience risk and that which goes with it – “The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat.” [See and Listen HERE.] What I have realized is that whereas lawyers are extremely well trained and practiced at identifying and qualifying risk they often spend far, far to much time attempting to smote it.
Instead, what people – especially anyone with a sense of business – wants to do is to quantify risk. Quantifying risk though requires that a number of similar events are considered. In doing so, the greater the sample set of similar situations presented against the multitude (i.e. occurrence) multiplied by the magnitude (i.e. degree of harm) is evaluated.
Is there a way to bridge the gap between qualification and quantification. I think there is. I believe that technology affords the means. And in doing so, we can take technology and make it work for us instead of allowing technology to serve as an interference.
At bottom what technology allows is something approaching computational and executional mastery. But there will always be risks and so insurers and lawyers each have important roles to play.
Instead of thinking of risk qualification and quantification as alternatives, perhaps it is best to consider them as complements of an overall process.
What harm would there be in doing that? Cheers!