The humble ‘Banana Skin’ – possibly the greatest risk management tool ever

Horizon scanning is a fundamental, dietary requirement of any business strategy. It’s an expected factor of successful direction. A needs must! You need to see what’s in the distance; what hazards, threats and risks lay ahead. The road on which we travel and where we want to be.

During basic and advanced driving skills, we should be looking ahead as far as we can see, to anticipate and prepare for the challenges; enabling us to get ready to adjust and negotiate our way as smoothly as possible. Minimalize the last-minute breaking to prevent a collision with some obstacle or another.

The Power of Risk Awareness

The old saying of avoiding the ‘potential banana skin’ is simply immense! It has kept many ‘wise’ people from danger or challenges over history. You try to avoid them I’m sure?

“We run the risk of missing the terror of the discarded ‘banana skins’ that could be so close to us.” Now I’m not fully qualified to give exact data figures of who has actually ended up in the emergency room after slipping on a banana skin, but I’ve never done it myself. Why? Well simply because I’ve always avoided them when I see them on the floor. After all, they’re a potential death trap,.. aren’t they? ”We run the risk of missing the terror of the discarded ‘banana skins‘ that could be so close to us.”

The person who invented the idea that the thrown away skin of the once exotic fruit, could be an excellent opportunity to communicate risks, must have been a forward thinking, strategic leader, with exceptional resilience values. A philosopher. A genius. A real risk management expert!

The ‘banana skin‘ concept is still powerful enough even today, in this crazy technological world, to make clever people think twice. To inform leaders and all around of what could potentially wrong, if we don’t look up and see the path ahead. Look up to see the risks in the distance.

Although technically, if we do look ahead, we potentially run the risk of missing the terror of the discarded ‘banana skins‘ that could be so close to us!

The Business Banana Skin Effect – (Continuity and Success)

Horizon scanning is a must; business planning, strategic, tactical and operational skills all working together, in the right roles and responsibilities, will help avoid or reduce the risk of disruption and challenge (well, as far as reasonably practicable).

Any business and organization needs to look up and see the direction they want and need to travel in and the landscape around. The competition, the opportunities, the dangers. Try to see the ‘banana skins‘ in the distance or anticipate where they may have been dropped.

Just Because We Can’t See Any Banana Skins Does Not Mean We Won’t Slip Up

In business, we will always hear the ‘it has never happened to us yet’ saying as a means of ‘justifying’ why resilience is not needed. Yes ‘banana skins‘ exist and they can be ‘dangerous’, but I’ve never stepped on one, so I’m resilient!

“It can be taught to children and adults alike. It is effective and just so simple. It actually helps us manage the risks.”Actually, I avoid them like you do, so that it is why I haven’t slipped on one before. But we have still tripped and slipped in the past, on other less or bigger things! It happens.

The ‘banana skin‘ effect is an exceptional, internationally recognized risk awareness tool. It crosses businesses and boundaries so effortlessly. It can be taught to children and adults alike. It is effective and just so simple. It actually helps us manage the risks.

However, it is essential that any business leader and their teams, consider not just the dangers and opportunities on the horizon, but also those that may be close by. Situational awareness as it is more commonly known by.

Having a shared situational awareness (SSA) will help all avoid those trips and slips or at the very least, reduce the risks and minimize the impacts, if they do create a challenge.

The ‘banana skin’ risk management tool has stood the test of time and will probably continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Technology is amazing but simple education and communication is just as awesome when it comes to risk and resilience management.


Published by

Paul Kudray

A truly down to earth, grounded individual who is a resilience professional. Helping people and organizations to build and maintain their capabilities to respond to and recover from, crisis, emergencies or disasters. Paul is the 'resilience maverick' because he is not like the average resilience professional. He uses his great people skills to break down a complicated and often scary subject to make it easier to understand, want and need. Paul wants to help everyone be a bit more resilient because they can.

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