Don’t Risk What You Don’t Know

Too often, we "manage" operational risk with the blind confidence (or blissful ignorance) that the depth of our actual knowledge will never fully be tested.

We hope.
We presume.
We believe.
In truth, we don’t know.

We leverage this thin premise against a flawed hope that everything will work out, or that others will do what’s needed to right-track the execution of the project. We often remain silent, not because of any poor presumption, but rather because we don’t understand or haven’t yet learned what’s being discussed. When we don’t know the terminology or the unique nuances being addressed, we tend to defer to the communicator and their knowledge (or lack thereof).

But firm voices and emphasized fonts don’t always equate to accuracy. Unintended acquiescence has cost the built-environment industry billions of dollars.

The next time you don't know something, just acknowledge it, then step back and watch the positive ripples that follow.

Strive to manage risk from a position of strength, which ironically, often begins in a position of vulnerability.


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.