How to Defuse The Biggest Risk in Business

Have you ever laughed out loud after reading a Dilbert carton? Scott Adams created Dilbert, the office truth-teller, after working in a corporate bureaucracy.

In one of his favorite cartoon strips, he shows Dilbert in a meeting where the boss is saying, “From now on, we will refer to “problems” as “opportunities.” In the next frame, a secretary enters the room and tells the boss, “One of your idiot spawn was playing with the oven and burned your house down.” In the last frame, an employee turns to the boss and asks, “Camping opportunity?”

But Eric McNulty, the Associate Director of National Preparedness believes that Dilbert-like skewering of corporate-speak can be harmful. He writes,” we need to remember that our words will determine our future and the futures of our companies, industries and societies.” Choosing words to realistically describe future risks in facing potentially catastrophic disruptions in “technology, climate and geopolitics” is critically important. In fact, our word choices have never mattered more. Choosing the wrong words may well be one of the biggest risks in business.

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