Risk Management is probably the last thing you will have been thinking of when you were hearing the Christmas story in Church or at a nativity play recently, but think about it and see if you agree with me that Joseph was a good example of someone who managed risks well. Here are three things he did right:
- When he discovered Mary was pregnant and he was not the father, he had various choices. Even after the angel had explained it in a dream, Joseph must have known how it would look to everyone else. Yet he chose to take a risk and do what he knew was right.
- When he was warned that King Herod was sending men to kill the baby, Joseph did not take any chances: he took Mary and Jesus to Egypt, well out of harm’s way.
- When he heard Herod was dead, Joseph did not stay in Egypt but took his family back to his home town, Nazareth, which was relatively safe by then, even with Herod’s son in charge.
So can we learn the right lessons from this Lesson?
- We need to be prepared to take a risk when the good outweighs the potential harm.
- We need to steer well clear of real danger.
- We need to be ready to take calculated risks when the real danger is gone, or reduced.
If ever you are tempted to think that Risk Management means always reacting in the same way to every situation, think of Joseph and try to find a balanced response to the specific risk you are facing.
That could be a good way to start the New Year!