Risky business

Before Covid I used to regularly deliver courses in Ireland and being in Dublin so often I’ve promised myself on a few occasions to visit the Guinness Storehouse. However, I’ve always put it off until the next time I visit. On this occasion though I decided I would go, you never know at the moment if I will ever return. Whilst there I learnt a little about how the Guinness business started.

Arthur Guinness started his brewing business in Dublin by brewing ale.

He was then introduced to a dark beer that was being produced in London for the porters at Billingsgate market, imaginatively named ‘Porter’.

Arthur decided to change his entire ale brewing operation to produce this Porter and called it a ‘dark stout beer’. Over time this became known as just ‘stout’.

I think that worked out quite well for him.

Moving a new product into a new market on the surface looks like a very risky endeavour, all kinds of things could go wrong. However, the rewards are also substantial if managed correctly.

All of us take risks in our businesses and each of us has a unique attitude to how much risk we are willing to take. Managing them becomes an unavoidable activity.

We need to firstly identify what areas of risk we have and identify the uncertain events surrounding that area we can manage. Secondly, having identified a risk, we need to assess the likelihood of it occurring and what its impact will be on the business if it occurs. Third, identify cost-effective mitigation responses and finally, put those actions into place.

Having an approach to managing uncertainty in our business is a crucial factor in our success. Knowing our limits on what we can accept and what we need to mitigate is vital to our survival.

One could say it allows us to have a stout business.

Russell Parker
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Russell Parker

Since 2006, Russell has delivered training in service and project management. He has helped dozens of managers to acquire their qualifications. He also has helped them to be successful in frameworks such as PRINCE2, Agile, ITIL. Russell has run numerous projects in the public and private sectors. He then turned his hand to training and consultancy. His core skill lies in helping people and organisations to make a positive change for real benefit.