Monday, December 29, 2003

Leadership and risk management

One of the tenets of risk management is that risks are best managed by those with the power proximity and interest to do so. Peoples' desire for leadership may be an irresponsible abdication of their interests to the group and to the leader (look for instance at the typical process when we join an organisation) or it may be a responsible loyalty to the goals the leader can articulate and eventually deliver. The difference between these lies in the follower, not in the leader, but the leadership style is important in evoking one or the other.

Richard's post makes it clear that the question of what is important and what needs paying attention to is never simple. To portray it as simple is to disable the contribution followers can make to the complexity and the management of risk. It is far too easy to support leaders in the mode that says they are responsible for the failures only I could have prevented.