What is Human Risk?

“The Risk of People doing things they shouldn’t or not doing things they should”.

It’s the biggest risk facing most organisations. On this site, you’ll find Behavioural Science-powered solutions to help mitigate its impact.

Why does Human Risk matter?

There are countless examples of people doing things (or not doing things) that negatively impact the risk environment.

Even those risks that do not appear to be directly driven by human behaviour can contain human elements which can worsen the risk profile.

For example, a natural disaster is not preventable.  But the impact of the disaster can be made that much worse by poor decisions taken by human beings, either in response to the event or in a (lack of) pre-emptive planning.

A hurricane cannot (yet) be prevented, but its impact on society is heavily influenced by the human response to it.

What can we do about it?

By better understanding what drives human behaviour, we have a greater chance of controlling the risks associated with it.

At their best, people are awe-inspiring, creative, courageous, inspirational, wonderful and intelligent. At their worst, they are evil, destructive, inappropriate, lazy, awful and useless.

Human Risk is about preventing the latter and incentivising the former. A mission that involves “Bringing Science to Risk & Compliance”. The science in question is Behavioural Science.

What is Behavioural Science?

Behavioural Science (BeSci) is the understanding of the drivers of actual, rather than theoretical, human decision-making.  It is relevant to all of us for three reasons:

It helps explain how we make decisions.
We all like to think that we’re entirely rational and make intelligent decisions. Yet, in reality, we are heavily influenced by our environment and subtle cues that we may not even be aware of. By understanding how our brains work in reality (rather than how they work in theory or we’d like them to work) we can find ways to improve our own lives.

BeSci techniques are already commonly deployed by others who want to influence us. 
Whether we know it or not. Most obviously by advertisers, but also by governments, transport authorities, retailers and technology companies to name but a few.  If we understand those techniques, we can be more wary of when they might be trying to influence us in ways we don’t want.

Each of us is using BeSci techniques to influence other people on a daily basis.
Every conversation we have or email we send is an attempt to influence someone else. By understanding how those techniques work, we can make sense of many of the things we intuitively do already and the ways in which we can and do influence others. Understanding why can help us avoid mistakes.

How can Human Risk help you?

I’ve been deploying BeSci in Compliance and Risk Management environments for a number of years and am well-versed in how best to use the techniques to get the right outcomes. Many successful BeSci interventions are counter-intuitive and require familiarity with the underlying principles.

Having worked in highly regulated environments, I understand how to use BeSci to meet regulatory objectives and how best to explain their use to regulators who may be more used to seeing “traditional” methods.

If you’re trying to get people to do something and they’re not doing what you want or expect them to do, then the chances are, there’s a BeSci solution that can make things better.

Most processes contain a human element. By deploying BeSci, we can influence that element and improve the likelihood of getting the outcome we want.

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