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5 fresh perspectives: seeing the world differently

Why do we even need a fresh perspective on BCM?

As we grow and learn from our experiences, observations, and interactions with other people, we form frameworks that help us understand the world around us and give us cues as to how to respond or behave. These frameworks give us our own personal blueprint as to how and why things work.

For example, most people have automatically come to understand that when your phone rings, you answer it and say, “Hello?” When someone sneezes, it’s likely you’ll hear someone else say, “Bless you.” If you want to make an omelet, you need to break a few eggs. Et cetera.

The problem is, frameworks are built on individual experience. And sometimes we get it wrong. And when we get it wrong, we’re presented with challenges that are extremely difficult for us to understand and negotiate.

This is the first in a series of e-books that examines the typical ways we’ve found people think about risk management. A fresh perspective is important, as many of the frameworks we’ve built around the process—as well as the product—tend towards the negative. Our goal is to identify how and why we’ve developed these frameworks so we can do something about them.

Errant Mental Models - seeing the world differently

In our next series of e-books I will look at different mental models and assess what happens when we have the wrong model. Mental model define how we see the world. We see in patterns and interpret with stories. Pattern recognition is absolutely necessary for us to obtain information. You can read these lines because you recognize the written pattern. You can make sense of what you are reading because you can interpret the aggregation of these patterns (most likely you are also visualizing them) into meaning supported by a story. The natural human need for pattern recognition is so pervasive that we sometimes see patterns where none exist.

Stories are the most natural way for us to communicate, to make sense out of our complex world. Watch how children learn. They experiment (i.e., plays) over and over again with voice, movement, and cause and effect. Once they learn to communicate, they enter into the world of stories to learn the world around them. Playing and storytelling are innate characteristics within us and define how we see the world around us to make meaning.

As we grow and learn from experiences, observations, and others (coaches, mentors, friends, family, organizations) we develop mental models that help us understand the world around us. These frameworks—mental models—tell us how and why things work. See the World Different series looks at five (5) mental models:

Related content

5 fresh perspectives: seeing the world differently
Part I | Perception: people will believe vs. reality: people just don’t care
Part II | Perception: it’s like building a house vs. Reality: it’s like running a farm
Part III | Perception: it’s a paint-by-numbers vs. Reality: you paint it like pollock
Part IV | Perception: the risk manager’s job is to manage risk vs. Reality: to run a company
Part V | Perception: we can control everything vs. Reality: we can only influence

The big takeaway

We strongly encourage every organization to develop fresh perspectives on risk management.

Commonly held beliefs and attitudes towards these programs can wreak havoc and erode their overall effectiveness. If no one ever challenges these beliefs—these frameworks built on individual experience—they’ll take even deeper root and become nearly impossible to correct.

We hope this series helped you ask yourself, “Am I seeing what is real, or what I want to be real?” Constantly taking a step back to assess and re-evaluate commonly held assumptions, especially being able to recognize one when we see it, sets our programs up for success from the start.

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