Taming the Risk Hurricane



Book Title: Taming the Risk Hurricane: Preparing for Major Business Disruption
Author: Dr. David Hillson, The Risk Doctor
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler, Oakland, CA, USA
List Price: $29.95
Publication Date: September 2022
ISBN: 978-1-523000-500
Reviewer: Dr. Ruth Murray-Webster
Review Date: September 2022


 Taking risk in order to achieve objectives is a natural human function. In hindsight, we may sometimes reflect on what we could have done differently, but acting with as much foresight as possible, we weigh options and decide accordingly. It all gets more complicated when we try to decide what risks to take in groups, and particularly in organisations that are susceptible to disruption from customers, regulators, suppliers, staff or wider political, economic, sociological, technological factors. Multiple people with multiple perceptions are involved.  Emotions from excitement to fear can be high. Perceived wisdom is that process and governance help to create some order and a common language, and they do, but it’s not enough. Improving the way organisational value is created and protected through risk management needs better conversations about risk, and when it comes to triggering conversation there is nothing as powerful as a good analogy.

David Hillson’s latest book uses the hurricane (typhoon or cyclone in other parts of the world) as an analogy for extreme risk exposure that causes major disruption in business, which he christens the Risk Hurricane.  As David explains, hurricanes are caused by predictable factors but are characterized by sustained unpredictability and severe impact once they occur. David patiently and thoroughly applies the hurricane analogy to help the reader to understand the preconditions for potentially game-changing extreme risk exposure, and to how to deal with the many aspects of managing that risk from prediction to preparedness to post-event recovery.

If you are a business leader, concerned about your organisation’s readiness to deal with major disruption, this book will stimulate your thinking and lead you through the things to consider in a logical yet entertaining way. If you are a risk advisor and you want to engage decision-makers in a new way, this book provides lots of ideas of how to communicate in new ways. And if you just want to hear the latest thoughts of The Risk Doctor on the importance of understanding and managing risk, this book is for you.


To read entire Book Review, click here

How to cite this review: Murray-Webster, R. (2022).  Taming the Risk Hurricane, book review, PM World Journal, Vol. XI, Issue X, October. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/pmwj122-Oct2022-Murray-Webster-Taming-the-Risk-Hurricane-book-review.pdf

About the Reviewer

Dr. Ruth Murray-Webster

United Kingdom


 Dr Ruth Murray-Webster is Director: Potentiality UK and former Director of the Change Portfolio for Associated British Ports Ltd. Ruth has 35+ years of experience in a series of roles to enable organisations in many sectors to deliver change objectives, including as Director of the Risk in the Boardroom practice for KPMG LLP in the UK and 10 years as a Director of Lucidus Consulting Ltd.

Along this journey, Ruth researched organisational change from the perspective of the recipients of change for an Executive Doctorate at Cranfield School of Management. She has also taken a keen interest in risk management along the way, co-authoring four books on the people aspects of risk management with David Hillson (Understanding and Managing Risk Attitude, 2007; Managing Group Risk Attitude, 2008; A Short Guide to Risk Appetite, 2012), and with Penny Pullan (A Short Guide to Facilitating Risk Management, 2011).

Ruth was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Association for Project Management in 2013 for her services to risk and change.

Dr Ruth Murray-Webster can be contacted at ruthmurraywebster@gmail.com

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