02 July 2006

It's all a risk

Before I joined Red Splash I had a client that carried out consultancy assignments in the risk management area. It was an area which grew pretty rapidly post-Chernobyl and their consultants tended to come from the major utilities and the nuclear power industry. Over time they developed a couple of other revenue streams, but the assessment and mitigation of risk remained a strong business for them.

What made me think of them recently was that I was reading about possible replacements for the World Trade Center towers in lower Manhattan. Like the rest of the population with access to a TV, I watched the destruction of the towers with morbid fascination. While many businesses suffered a short-term downturn following the disaster, businesses like my client's enjoyed an enormous boost to their sales pipelines. Targets who had talked reluctantly about risk management (mitigation, avoidance and contingency planning) suddenly began to ring them unprompted. Risk management moved up the management agenda. It is possible to argue that the world was a riskier place for business post 11 September, and that's certainly an argument that my client's targets accepted wholeheartedly.

As they used to say when I was a child - "It's an ill wind that blows no-one any good." The point of the post is that Marketing and Business Development are both considerably easier if the external environment is receptive to the message. In the absence of that sentiment, both become much harder and significantly more expensive.


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