Risk - The Game of Strategic Conquest

When taking some time out from the hustle and bustle of working life, playing a game of Risk (the board game, yes they do still exist!), I strategically placed troops across my territories in the hope of becoming triumphant on the roll of the dice. I came to think about the concept of risk: its perception, its meaning, the mystery surrounding it, how it affects us in our day-to-day and working lives, and the potential rewards and penalties of taking risks.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines risk as “A situation involving exposure to danger”. This is a justified definition of the word. When we think of risk, we as human beings tend to associate it with the negatives. Just take a second to think of how you perceive risk. Does it include any of the following? “What if”, “it might go wrong?”, “but it’s a gamble”, “it won’t pay off” or “I will look stupid” to name a few. If your answer is yes then your perception of risk is based upon the negative factors which make up the concept. There is nothing wrong with this and on one level or another, we all at some point in our lives have seen risk as having a negative impact upon our lives. I know I have. For example; I need some milk but I will get soaked because it’s raining outside.

It is embedded in our human nature to assess risk on a daily basis, shying away from situations that we think could be harmful or detrimental to ourselves or others around us. At Universal Live we perform risk assessments for our clients for each and every event we produce. It’s our job to analyse the potential risk and adjust accordingly, whilst retaining the desired outcome for our clients’ events. How do we do this you ask? Well, it’s simple – we change and adapt our strategy to the current situation or climate. On occasion, this may even happen when we’re already onsite rigging an event. If you think about it, it is actually a little like the game Risk. You must change your strategy depending on how your opponent is playing. The key is to be adaptable to change and make decisions to ensure that the level of risk is decreased to enable you to move forward to conquer the challenge.

Now let’s flip the concept of risk it on its head and look at utilizing risk to our advantage. First, let’s take a look at the positive elements of the word risk. It can be seen as a possibility, a chance and an opportunity. All of these give us the tools to ultimately allow us to achieve and accomplish our goals, as well as become better, more qualified people within our chosen field.

Working within the live events industry we come up against risk on a daily basis. Our clients want the wow factor, they want their event to be bigger and better than the last, they want to try something completely unique. But how do you deliver this without an element of risk? The answer is you can’t. But instead of shying away from that risk take a tight grip of it, see it as a challenge and an opportunity to do something great. It’s a chance to be innovative, break boundaries and sometimes accept that you may come up against that metaphorical wall. Getting over that wall will only happen if you have strategically planned for such obstacles from the beginning, play the long game and stick with it, as this will ensure that you execute the perfect game. Oh, I mean event!

There is a certain mystique that surrounds risk, but it must be approached with an open mind. Of course, there will always be the possibility that taking risks may backfire, but the rewards can be truly phenomenal. At Universal, we always assess potential risk and try to embrace it, as this is what drives us to be more creative, original and a true leader in the industry. Really, we try to define risk as an exciting opportunity that can make us do amazing things every day.