Skepticism is an excellent tool in managing risk, but it must be moderated or people become jaded and cynical. This increases risk and is corrosive on morale and productivity.
The antidote to skepticism is trust.
Trust is the assurance, confidence or dependence that you have in someone
or something, now and in the future. Ultimately, it is a relationship between
two or more people.
Although seemingly intangible, trust, and the breach of that trust, have enormous social and economic value. Trust allows us to save time, money and effort that would otherwise be needed to verify every aspect affecting our lives. Imagine the economic impact if we all had to check every transaction in our lives - matters as routine as building codes, potable water, etc. Witness also the cost of deadly breaches of that trust. The average settlement in 168 cases of wrongful death for the victims of the recent TWA 800 and SwissAir 111 tragedies was $5,952,380 US. The insurance industry estimates wrongful death settlements to grow almost exponentially in the future.
In sum, the concept of public and individual trust is so fundamental to society that it must be protected by multi-layered defences, beginning with moderate skepticism, followed by effective preventive measures and ending with verification. We’ll cover those measures in upcoming issues of MYPR.
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Mike Murphy has been a risk management consultant for the last four years. Prior to that, he spent 17 years (78-96) with Transport Canada, his last five as Regional Director General, Aviation in Winnipeg. Originally trained as a professional pilot, he is the author of an internationally acclaimed 500-page report entitled "An Evaluation of Emergency Response Services at Airports in Canada," currently in its second revised edition (August 1999) and is undergoing a third major revision. He is also the Chairman of the Air Passenger Safety Group (APSG) www.transport2000.ca/APSG , a Director of Transport 2000 Canada www.transport2000.ca, a Director of the Ottawa Chapter of Christian Businessmen's Committee (CBMC) www.cbmc.net and the Secretary General of the Peugeot Club of North America (PCNA). www.peugeotclub.org
This, gentle readers, marks our second year of publishing MYPR. We hope it has provided stimulated reading over the last year. Critical thinking is a prerequisite to managing risk. Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.
(Available in Word 97 by email or by fax from):
e-mail: Michael Murphy
CADMUS Corporate Solutions Limited,
59 Queensline Drive,
Nepean, Ontario K2H 7J4
Tel. (613) 829-0602 Fax (613) 829-6720
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