The interconnectedness of all things

I’m very glad you asked me that, Mrs Rawlinson. The term `holistic’ refers to my conviction that what we are concerned with here is the fundamental interconnectedness of all things. I do not concern myself with such petty things as fingerprint powder, telltale pieces of pocket fluff and inane footprints. I see the solution to each problem as being detectable in the pattern and web of the whole. The connections between causes and effects are often much more subtle and complex than we with our rough and ready understanding of the physical world might naturally suppose, Mrs Rawlinson.

Let me give you an example. If you go to an acupuncturist with toothache he sticks a needle instead into your thigh. Do you know why he does that, Mrs Rawlinson?

No, neither do I, Mrs Rawlinson, but we intend to find out. A pleasure talking to you, Mrs Rawlinson. Goodbye.

–Douglas Adams

Change the conversation from risk to uncertainty management

Present use of the term ‘risk’ is ambiguous. Best practice regards risk as encompassing both threat and opportunity, but guidance often speaks in terms of threat management, and in common parlance risk is more usually synonymous with threat.  An obvious first step towards uncertainty management is to remove this ambiguity by using the term ‘uncertainty’ in the everyday sense of‘ lack of certainty’ as a starting point.

Risk management Uncertainty management
a downside risk a threat (giving rise to downside risk)
an upside risk an opportunity (giving rise to upside risk) a source of
a risk (upside or downside) a source of uncertainty
a (possible) source of risk a problem an issue
an impact a consequence/effect
a weakness an issue
a poor allocation inadequate an inappropriate/unclear allocation Inappropriate
avoid risk resolve uncertainty
mitigate modify
lack of shortage or surplus of
major risk significant uncertainty
absence of availability of