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42 Examples of Positive Risk

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Positive risk is the potential upside to an action that also has a potential downside. Pure risks such as the risk of a fire have no upside. However, most risks that are taken on purpose have much opportunity attached to them that can be called positive risk. Generally speaking, every action and inaction involves both risk and positive risk. The following are common examples of a positive risk.
Crossing the street.
Changing jobs.
Starting a business.
Launching a product.
Meeting new people.
Opening up to others.
Changing the way that you dress.
Investing money.
Challenging ideas in a meeting.
Taking on public speaking engagements.
Doing home renovations yourself.
Trying a new sport.
Lifting weights.
Borrowing money to improve a business.
Buying a house.
Starting a new school.
Making a friend.
Pursuing adventure.
Traveling to a foreign country.
Living in a foreign country.
Trying to speak in a second language where you may be misunderstood.
Using power tools.
Sharing your contact information at a conference.
Speaking up in a meeting.
Trying a new restaurant.
Going on a first date.
Giving a presentation.
Using public wifi.
Installing a new mobile app.
Cycling to work.
Changing a top selling product.
A business that invests in a new system.
Outsourcing work to a partner.
Entering new markets.
Changing the visual identity of a brand.
Challenging groupthink.
Acquiring a competitor.
Learning to swim as an adult.
Adopting a pet.
Making a commitment
Starting a family.
Starting a second career at retirement.
Positive risk aligns to risk management practices that view risks in terms of actions, positions, choices and decisions.

Alternative View #1

Some individuals view risk as inherently negative. This is typically because they think of risk as a negative future outcome and not in terms of the actions that are taken that typically have both an upside and downside. For example, the risk of taking a new job could be viewed as the risk of being fired and damaging your professional reputation and track record. If you think of risks as being outcomes, they are inherently negative. If you think of risks as being actions, positions and choices, they are both positive and negative.

Alternative View #2

In some risk management traditions, positive risk is the risk of too much of a good thing. This is particularly associated with project risk management that views things such as being underbudget or delivering ahead of schedule as a risk because this does indicate poor planning. The following are examples of positive risk according to the definition that it is too much of a good thing.

1. Economic Risk

A low unemployment rate is a good thing. However, it is common for policy makers to avoid the positive risk that the unemployment rate dips too low. An extremely low unemployment rate tends to trigger inflation as the supply of workers dries up and employees begin to demand higher and higher salaries to switch jobs.

2. Project Risk

Project Managers manage the risk that a project is over budget and the positive risk that it is under budget. Under budget projects are usually viewed as the result of inflated estimates that potentially tied up resources unnecessarily.

3. Supply Chain Risk

It is increasingly common for supply chains to run on a Just in Time method of inventory control whereby inputs arrive just as they are needed. As such, positive supply chain risks such as early deliveries are commonly managed.

4. Engineering Risk

Engineers may manage the risk that a building won't last long enough. They may also many the positive risk that it is built to last too long. In other words, an office building built to last 10,000 years was likely over-engineered from the perspective of those financing the project.

5. Competitive Risk

A business may want to beat all competitors. However, a business that completely dominates a market may hope that their competitors survive so that they don't attract the attention of regulators who view the business as a monopoly.

6. Technology Risk

In the pursuit to advance technology their are risks that technology could become so advanced so as to be destructive to things that humans value such as culture or life itself. For example, the risk that artificial intelligence will grow to dominate things that humans now control. The potential for machines to become too smart could be viewed as a positive risk.
Overview: Positive Risk
Definition (1)
The potential upside to an action that also has a potential downside.
Definition (2)
The risk of too much of a good thing.
Definition (2)
The potential that your actions, decisions and plans will produce more benefits than you planned.
Related Concepts
Next: Pure Risk
More about risk:
AI Risk
Risk Avoidance
Brand Risk
Budget Risk
Business Risks
Change Risk
Compliance Risk
Concentration Risk
Cost Risk
Country Risk
Credit Risk
Demand Risk
Dread Risk
Economic Risk
Exchange Rates
Existential Risk
External Risk
Financial Risk
Force Majeure
Good Risk
Human Error
Risk Identification
Infinite Risk
Inflation Risk
Inherent Risk
Interest Rates
Internal Risks
Investing Risk
Legal Risk
Liquidity Risk
Model Risk
Moment Of Risk
Natural Disasters
Negative Risk
Operations Risk
Passive Risk
Personal Risk
Political Risk
Process Risk
Procurement Risk
Product Risk
Project Risk
Pure Risk
Quality Risk
Recession Risk
Risk Mitigation
Refinancing Risk
Regulatory Risk
Reputational Risk
Residual Risk
Resource Risk
Revenue Risk
Risk Appetite
Risk Aversion
Risk Examples
Risk Management
Risk Management Process
Risk Matrix
Risk Meaning
Risk Measurement
Risk Taking
Risk Tolerance
Risk Triggers
Risk vs Issue
Risk vs Opportunity
Risk vs Uncertainty
Risk-Reward Ratio
Seasonal Risk
Secondary Risk
Security Risk
Settlement Risk
Risk Sharing
Speculative Risk
Strategic Risk
Strategy Risk
Supply Risk
Systemic Risk
Tactical Risk
Taxation Risk
Technology Risk
Risk Transfer
Unforced Error
Upside Risk
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