Don’t Be a Turtle—Manage Your Risk

A shell should protect, not impede.

The fear of risk, and the many misunderstandings that surround it, have long undermined collaboration in the design and construction industry.

Fear frequently prevents the sharing of lessons learned, even amongst project partners, who in theory, should be motivated to mutually benefit one another and the project. Fear also fuels stereotypes and prevents potential opportunities from even entering the front door.

Why? Too many of us seek to avoid risk rather than manage it. We hide under protective shells to avoid the consequences of risk.

Understandable, yes. Effective, not so much.

Risk can and should be measured and continually evaluated until it can be fairly predicted. When you know more today than you knew yesterday, you begin to foster intelligent risk.

Come on… a turtle only makes progress when he sticks his neck out. Is your protective shell preventing you from moving forward?

Manage your risk (“rM”). Don’t let your Risk manage you (Rm).



Todd Duwel

As Woolpert’s Building Sector Leader, Todd Duwel advances the built environment through informed, integrated design and proven programmatic strategies.

Look for more of Todd’s observations on risk management in the months to come.