Risk Management and Anticipatory Management

Many organizations understand and utilize risk management. In an organizational environment, there is always a need to understand the level of risk the organization is facing at any given point in its existence (Cervone, 2006). Society is so litigious and organizations need to safeguard themselves from unnecessary risks that could open them up to a lawsuit. The temptation for organizations though is to bundle anticipatory management into risk management, despite they are two separate areas of management with two distinctly different perspectives.

Risk management focuses on identifying, assessing, and controlling the threats an organization faces that could put its capital and earnings at any level of jeopardy (Rouse, 2016). Risk is a problem that has not yet happened, and it is the responsibility of risk management leaders to develop responses the organization will take in the event a risk comes to pass (Savage & Sales, 2008). To understand risk management it is important to understand the underlying factors that contribute to creating risks (Cervone, 2006).

Anticipatory management, on the other hand, goes beyond focusing on problems. Through anticipatory management, organizations are able to gain a competitive advantage by understanding current trends and how they will play out over time (Suderman, 2015). Risk management is the art of avoiding problems, while anticipatory management is the art of capitalizing on opportunities. Each is important for organizations to engage in, however, it is the perspective of this author that if organizations become proficient at anticipatory management, the need for risk management goes down significantly due posture change from reacting to anticipating.


Cervone, H. F. (2006). Project risk management. OCLC Systems & Services: International Digital Library Perspectives, 22(4), 256–262. https://doi.org/10.1108/10650750610706970

Rouse, M. (2016, August). What is risk management? – Definition from WhatIs.com. Retrieved July 31, 2017, from http://searchcompliance.techtarget.com/definition/risk-management

Savage, A., & Sales, M. (2008). The anticipatory leader: futurist, strategist and integrator. Strategy & Leadership, 36(6), 28–35. https://doi.org/10.1108/10878570810918331

Suderman, J. (2015, February). anticipatory management | Jeff Suderman. Retrieved July 31, 2017, from http://jeffsuderman.com/tag/anticipatory-management

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