Managing a portfolio of risky projects

I heard a talk in Berlin recently that inspired me to think of risk in new projects this way. Take all the disruption or new projects and map them as follows:

Vertical axis is new growth

Horizontal axis should include transformational/blue ocean dimensions like:

  • improved relationships with customers

  • new customers

  • future new business model to make you more competitive

High growth projects with high transformational / blue ocean possibilities are the key in a disruptive / ultra competitive world. That doesn’t mean we don’t identify the risks in those projects - we still should do that because it may be even more important. But here’s a lesson from long ago in my career. Identifying the risks takes serious thought and the most important risks come up at the end, not in the first 5 minutes. It takes deep thinking.