Is risk adversity a risk to business?

While important, risk mitigation shouldn’t replace purpose. To live in a world completely devoid of risk poses its own risks – including the risk of loss of opportunity or even, the loss of profit.

By Critical Input Senior Consultant Henk De Vos

Risk mitigation covers health and safety, environmental, financial and statutory compliance, cyber security as well as reputational risk. Over the years, organisations have appointed functional leads to manage these perceived risks, who in turn have created departments to develop and implement policies and procedures to institutionalise these perceived risks. While risk is very real and needs to be considered, it shouldn’t dominate an organisation’s goals. Risk mitigation shouldn’t cause risk.

Adaptation the new superpower

The world is continually changing, and companies need to be agile enough to adapt to this changing world. Unfortunately, many companies have become institutionalised because of policies, procedures and people management. Any breach of policy or procedure could lead to dismissal and hence staff are driven down the compliance line of thinking. While companies talk about innovation and continuous improvement projects, most of these projects fail because they challenge the companies institutionalised culture. How do you challenge the company’s culture when the company believes it’s operating and performing at “best practice” levels?  

Perfection becoming the enemy of good

And what is this allusive “best practice”? Many failed companies once dominated their markets by delivering “best practices” that were the envy of their peers, including:   

  • Blackberry Motion
  • Blockbuster Video      
  • IBM
  • Kodak
  • Nokia
  • Toy R Us.

Big corporations can learn from small businesses

All these companies were once the best in their field, but they failed to adapt to the changing world. New start-up companies seldom rely on policies, procedures and people management, but instead manage risk on a case-by-case basis. They’re continually challenging established standards in search of a market edge. Change management isn’t even on their radar, as they’re in a perpetual state of transformation. Start-ups rarely have established supplier or service provider relationships, rather they’re always scanning the environment for the right partners to help them address their needs at affordable price-points. Of course, these are generalisations and we do recognise that there are start-ups that are more policy and process-driven.

When was the last time that you contracted a truly independent external service provider to review your company’s operations?

A service provider:

  • With the operational expertise to review your current processes and provide an honest overview of your company’s Strengths, Weaknesses, and Opportunities,
  • Who can partner with your company to maintain the business as usual while implementing the identified innovation and Continuous Improvement projects
  • That’s 100% Australian owned company
  • Whose 25-strong team comprises of seasoned ex-industry professionals
  • That delivers results, not PowerPoint presentations
  • Whose only objective is to transform your company, into the company that you want it to be!
  • If you really wish to challenge your “as is” to understand why you’re not maximising your companies profit, contact Critical Input for fresh eyes and independent advice.
  • Critical Input is a consultancy firm with its feet firmly on the ground. Skilled at bridging the gaps for clients, we provide functional solutions and implement long-standing processes.
  • Critical Input gets in and does the work alongside its clients, stepping into the weeds when needed, while also providing high-level strategic support.    



Because without process, there is no destination. We’re process-driven, but also process-drivers. Anchored in the measurement-based strategy for continuous improvement, “Six Sigma”, Critical Input focuses on assessing, tweaking, and refining processes so that your organisation runs like a well-oiled machine.


Because without buy-in, there is no evolution. A formal client stakeholder map is always the starting point. We identify the movers, the shakers, the influencers and the change-makers, and spend time engaging and aligning with these enablers in the organisation. It’s a given that Critical Input hand-picks the best professionals for the job. All our consultants are highly educated and experienced with tried and proven strategies.


Because integrity is everything. Critical Input’s agile team is led by a strong moral compass and committed to providing a service based on honesty, trust and transparency. We always deliver the highest quality of service to our clients and provide support, even after project completion. We operate on this principle we’re happy when you’re happy.