weeks now, images of war have been a daily presence in our homes and we have
been overwhelmed by the news of the fighting in Ukraine. It is not only war
journalists and diplomats who are involved, but everyone is now a participant
in the war that is taking place in Europe and threatening us all. Up to a few
weeks ago, for most of us this was unthinkable! This war has generated a new
influx of refugees and many of our fellow citizens are preparing to assist
refugees and war victims once again and even take them into their homes. Many
questions arise as to how to discuss the war with children.
Set out in the document below are ten practical tips on how to talk to people who have fled the war, left everything behind, and need to be accommodated in a foreign environment.
In this article I
write my own opinion, not that of any organization.
On the one hand,
we have risk management.
In risk management, it is common practice to translate a risk as a product of probability and impact. The most well-known formula for measuring a risk is:
R = P * I
R is the measure
of risk, P the measure of the probability of an undesirable event occurring and
I its impact on achieving the objectives of the organization. Both are
Special attention in this article is paid to the situation in which there is a high degree of uncertainty with a risk. Unlike certainty, usually mathematically defined as a number between 0 and 1, or between 0% and 100%, uncertainty is rather something we feel but on which we cannot attach a clear mathematical definition that leans back on certainty. What we do know, however, is when the uncertainty is maximum for the occurrence of an event as a result of a cause. That is if the probability is 50%. Why? Because then the occurrence of the event is a coin on its side: you really do not know which way it will fall.
On the other
hand, we have the combination of the future strategies with scenario thinking.
In itself, risk
management is also a bit like thinking towards the future: if the probability
is high, for example 95% chance of occurrence, then there is a relative high certainty
of the occurrence of the impact. It is then, from risk management and in
function of the impact, that one has to define and implement a measure. This
allows the impact to be optimally prevented or mitigated (in the event of a
threat) or provoked to the maximum (in the event of an opportunity).
reasoning I want to make here is this one where the uncertainty is maximum.
There it is therefore unclear whether the event will occur, or not. So a twofold
future occurs: the event happens or does not happen. With this, a game of
extremes occurs, for example:
it be war or peace?
healthcare become more preventive or more curative?
sufficient measures be taken in time for the climate or will it become an
there be famine or abundance?
uncertainties one can consider these uncertainties in their own right, where
one has two futures per uncertainty, or one can
express them per two against each other (if they are sufficiently
independent), obtaining quadrants that represent four futures.
In theory one can
work with n uncertainties, where one then obtains 2n futures but it
becomes problematic, because already from n = 3 one has 8 futures, which
becomes unworkable and also because in practice it becomes more difficult to maintain the
independence of these uncertainties. And
that is necessary to foresee extremely different futures.
For each of these
futures, instead of directly defining measures, one can then start thinking
about scenarios. This is a strategic choice, where one defines how one will act
in a certain direction depending on which future becomes true. This instead of
putting a single project or action in the pipeline because one has a strong
expectation regarding whether (probability rather high) or not (probability rather
low) the event with a specific impact will occur.
In order to be
able to make the right choice, it is necessary to explore the evolution of the
circumstances of the organization. In
other words, lowering the uncertainty about the knowledge of the future. To do
that, one has a number of things that one can do.
very first thing to do is to dare to question the assumptions. Are the
assumptions that were made the good ones.
determines the extreme futures, the scenarios, and whether one is ready for it,
or whether, in contrast, one still has work to do. Usually it is the latter. To
this end, one looks at which strategic option is most useful in which possible
future. These options involve developing possible future projects or actions,
and thoroughly considering their effects with a 360° view. As far as possible, tests
or exercises are carried out to estimate the possible effects. What are the shortcomings that need to be
there is the collection of the necessary information. One will define relevant
parameters – indicators – and follow their trends. One determines in advance
when one will decide on the basis of which (combination of) indicators which strategic
options one will roll out. This is important, because being there in time and
preparing for a future can determine whether one can get a competitive or societal advantage from it or
whether one is more likely to encounter a problem.
the future unfolds, one deliberately monitors it, and consciously chooses the
pre-agreed options tailored to the actual nuanced future. The timing of the
decision and the roll-out of action plans is then crucial.
and future planning are relevant within risk management. However, one should
have a good idea when this is the case. A rule of thumb is: do this with
priority where the probability of an event with a certain impact is average.
Usually there are
multiple risks with an average probability. Then give priority to risks with a
high impact. After all, these give a more extreme course of the possible futures.
As much as possible, make sure that you work with uncertainties that are maximally
independent of each other if you plot them against each other.
However, if the
impact is very large, and opportunities exist to influence the probabilities in
your favor, do not fail to do so with common risk management strategies.
“Choose your battles wisely.” After all, future planning and scenario
thinking are especially useful when the internal and / or external environment
of the organization are substantially uncertain. The choice to work on
certainty, or to try to take advantage of uncertainty, is also a strategic
choice in itself. And that depends on the capabilities of the organization. The
internal environment can usually be influenced. Tinkering with the external
environment is usually an impossible task. That is why this technique is also
important when trying to look at risk
management objectively for the organization as part of the world.