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Strategy and Risk Management by Ron Rael

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Introduction

The New Opportunity

After completing a presentation in Phoenix, Arizona, and exchanging business cards with a few executives, I packed up while noticing that a few participants lingered. As I headed for the door, one of those participants, Justin, stood up when I passed his table in the ballroom of the hotel. “Can I buy you a cup of coffee, Mr. Rael?” he asked.

“Please, call me Ron. Thank you for attending. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” I shook his hand as he introduced himself. Justin led me to the dining area at the front of the hotel. The air around filled with the buzz of busy professionals and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee. We were silent until seated.

“I really appreciated your presentation today and was intrigued when you spoke about how vital enterprise risk management is to both profitability and longevity. I knew then that I needed your advice. I am in a quandary about what to do with an opportunity that recently arose for my company, but it’s like riding a mule.”

“A mule?” That was a metaphor about risk I had not heard before.

“See a mule can get me to where I want to go, yet she might throw me off in a split second and deliver a fatal kick to my head. With a mule you never know which one you might get.”

“Ouch!” I winced at his rustic analogy. “That sounds more descriptive of risk taking than my taking a leap of faith.” My frivolity kicked in. “What about riding a reliable horse, Justin?”

He chuckled, “If you can show me where I can find a reliable ...

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