fbpx Novel Risks | Harvard Kennedy School

Additional Authors:

  • Robert Kaplan

Excerpt

Novel Risks. Robert Kaplan, Dutch Leonard, 2020, Paper, "All organizations now practice some form of risk management to identify and assess routine risks for compliance; in their operations, supply chains, and strategy; and from envisioned external events. These risk management policies, however, fail when employees do not recognize the potential for novel risks to occur during apparently routine operations. Novel risks – arising from circumstances that haven’t been thought of or seen before - make routine risk management ineffective, and, more seriously, delude management into thinking that risks have been mitigated when, in fact, novel risks can escalate to serious if not fatal consequences. The paper discusses why well-known behavioral and organizational biases cause novel risks to go unrecognized and unmitigated. Based on best practices in several organizations, the paper describes the processes that private and public entities can institute to identify and manage novel risks. These risks require organizations to launch adaptive and nimble responses to avoid being trapped in routines that are inadequate or even counterproductive when novel circumstances arise." Link