For today’s innovators and entrepreneurs, established rules of risk identification, assessment, and management alone simply do not work. And enterprises that try and treat innovative technologies as business as usual increase their chances of failure as a result. Technology and business are intimately intertwined with people and society, and as the social landscape twists and turns and evolves—as it is currently doing at an unprecedented rate—the risks faced by entrepreneurs also change.
Emerging social risks massively amplify technological risks. But there is a third domain to emerging risks that further increases the complexity of the risk landscape, and that is the organizations and systems within which innovation occurs. Enterprises that aren’t keyed in to weaknesses in their internal organization, or emerging trends in organizational systems that potentially impact them, are vulnerable to potentially fatal mis-steps.
Together, these three areas of technological risks, social risks and organizational risks intertwine in complex ways to form an emerging risk landscape that cannot be readily navigated with conventional tools, and yet often stands between success and failure.
Successfully navigating the orphan risk landscape requires new tools and methods. But it also demands a new way of thinking about risk. And this is where risk innovation is leading to novel approaches to risk that complement existing ones, while increasing the chances of success for entrepreneurs and others. And at the heart of this new way of thinking is the idea of approaching risk as a threat to value.