Last week I attended a presentation on Risk Management, given by Karel de Bakker from…
I am renting out my house in Rotterdam to strangers. I rarely make use of it anyway. (And I have another home in Brussels too.) So why not let someone else enjoy my apartment?
Interestingly, this decision has led to some concerns from my friends:
Sure, these are good questions.
But I find it strange that I never got questions such as these:
These are good questions too. But nobody considers them. Except me.
Here’s a fragment of my book, relating to this issue:
People often favor risk avoidance over opportunity seeking. They look at uncertainty as something that is more likely to have a negative outcome than a positive one. (Or they estimate the cost of potential problems to be greater than the benefit of positive outcomes.)
A good example is the often cited “threat” of non-native species being transported by humans from one ecosystem to another. Many environmentalists are actively trying to address this “threat.” But research has shown that only in a few percent of the cases non-native species had a significant and bad effect on existing ecosystems. In most other cases, the effects of “alien” species on native ecosystems were neutral, or even positive. [Davis, Mark. “Living with aliens.” NewScientist. 26 September 2009.]
I seem to be different from most people. I usually focus on opportunities first, and risks later. When I invite non-native entities into my ecosystem, my first thoughts are not about all kinds of dangers. Instead, I imagine interesting opportunities. And for good reasons.
For example, within an hour after I invited my first guest into my house, it turns out he might have a new employment opportunity for my housekeeper.
Somehow, I was not surprised.
(Jurgen Appelo is author of Management 3.0, a best-selling management book for Agile developers. It has a picture of a monster in it.)