Blog: Rethinking Risk

Finding Light in our Home: Part Three

by | May 18, 2020

Finding Light in our Home: Part three in exploring opportunities for growth in a world dominated by COVID-19


For the third installment in our blog series exploring risk and opportunity in the time of the novel coronavirus, we are focusing on Our Home. We are inspired by examples of a risk innovation mindset not just in businesses, but in neighborhoods, families, and groups of friends. They exemplify how risk innovation can help grow value in challenging times and as they do, they are providing valuable insights to these important questions:

     1. What do my customers care about and how can that change through time?

Like many fitness trainers at this time, Heather has been posting online routines and daily motivational video clips for her social media base to keep up the momentum. However, she really met her community where they were when she became the center of a viral piece of coronavirus media where she hosted a patio Zumba class for her neighbors. 

As always, a risk innovation mindset begins by identifying your stakeholders and their values. While this trainer could have focused on catering exclusively to her digital clientele and online platforms, she would have missed an opportunity to connect her neighbors and build on her brand’s reputation.

     2. What are my orphan risks?

While the entertainment industry is largely impacted by coronavirus, escape rooms might be among the most threatened. With a business model that is considered non-essential and relies on small spaces with lots of people, there is a significantly turbulent risk landscape for these businesses in the coming months. However, the Portland-based escape room company, Paradigm Q, has a different take. 

Paradigm Q has created an entirely virtual escape room (complete with multiple passwords, puzzles, and hints) that leads to a discount on gift card purchasing for their actual escape room when they reopen.

While this company will continue to face new and ongoing threats to their business, they are centering their value on delivering engaging, brain-bending fun to families and are accomplishing this in spite of their business model being totally upended.

     3. How can we stay adaptable in order to protect and grow our value? 

So many of the simple pleasures of life have understandably been impacted. While non-essential, family board games, date nights, block parties, and happy hours with your team are some of the small treasured moments we miss.

Neighbors, families, and groups of friends exemplify the risk innovation approach as they stay connected and maintain their valued relationships in new and innovative ways:

drive through baby showers  

virtual dinner parties 

afternoons of grandparents reading to their grandchildren over Zoom


 As always, asking ourselves what is important to the groups we are accountable to and serve, and thinking through what can threaten that value is how we can build our risk innovation mindset. Protecting and growing value is just as essential to our personal relationships as it is to our businesses. At the Risk Innovation Nexus, we are finding light in the many ways in which you, both personally and professionally, are reimagining the value you bring and the value you get in your daily interactions. We are learning from you and with you, gaining valuable insights to these important questions:

1. What is most important to the groups we are accountable to and how might these areas of value be more or less urgent moving forward?

2. In this quickly evolving landscape, what are some possible events that could threaten these areas of value next month, next quarter, next year?

3. How can we adapt with agility to protect and grow stakeholder value and to avoid our orphan risks?

For more information on the Risk Innovation Nexus approach, our resources, and our tools and services, and to keep up with our series exploring opportunities for growth, please sign up below to join our mailing list.

If there is a specific story you would like to highlight or topic area you would like covered on this blog, please email us at

© 2020 Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of Arizona State University