How well do you think about risk and uncertainty?

No one can guarantee what the future will bring – but we can try to make an intelligent gamble on the available options.

Whether you are a doctor trying to decide whether to trial a new treatment, a CEO trying to forecast business post-Brexit, or you simply want to know how to interpret the weather forecast, the capacity to weigh up different potential outcomes is essential for good decision-making.

Unfortunately, many people are surprisingly bad at this. Luckily, a very short test – called the Berlin Numeracy Test – now allows you to assess your ability to cope with risk and uncertainty.

Before you read on, you might want to try the test yourself. It takes just five minutes to complete and at the end you will discover how your own “risk literacy” compares to the average person.

> Measure your risk literacy: How well do you think about risk and uncertainty? | David Robson | BBC

Bite size resilience – Self mockery is a trait of resilience

I’ve learned to pout because of using social media. Others pout professionally or socially, and they do it so darn well.

As for me, I try my best. I don’t mind looking like a 52½ year old bloke who’s got gas. My pout gets noticed yes, but I don’t take it, or myself, too seriously at all.

The ability to self-mock yourself, shows great maturity (in my eyes anyway). It shows an awareness of your own capabilities; your strengths and weaknesses. You can self-coach yourself sometimes by identifying what you’re good at, and perhaps, what you could do better?

We can all do something slightly better if we know about it and try.

It’s better to laugh than to cry

Self-mockery isn’t the same though, as ‘self adulation’. Now that’s a completely different thing, but we see so much of that today. Much more than we did when Carly Simon had everyone guessing who she was singing about back in the 70’s with ‘You’re so vain’.

When we can break down our own ego’s, without fear of losing any self-respect or credibility, we are infinitely more resilient ourselvesTo be able to identify what our ‘flaws’ are, also helps us recognise our true strengths. We help to develop and build relationships with others because internal to the rank and role, we recognise humility and character. We show it. That helps us to be and to share resilience together. And all without the need for a detailed plan or complicated algorithm.

When we can break down our own ego’s, without fear of losing any self-respect or credibility, we are infinitely more resilient ourselves. If we are indulged in self-adulation, it creates the opposite effect. We swap ‘war stories’ to boost our credibility ego or say where we are next, to showcase some degree of success? We get sexed up in our image.

For me, anybody who shows a sense of character and the ability to be professional when needed, but can also show the human side of life, it shows they can adapt to today’s world quite easily, and that shows great resilience.

As Carly may say…..”I bet you think this song is about you, don’t you?”

Bite size resilience – Are you ready?

We don’t want to live in fear of things going wrong, but ‘it’ happens. We live in a risky world, we take risks, we even give off risks sometimes to others. We make mistakes.

We take ‘calculated’ risks on social media platforms and sites like this one, especially when we hit the publish/post tab. We know the audience is there, or at least they are coming. But are your lines good enough to grab attention?

Will they attend, but take no
interest in what you have to say?

‘All the world’s a stage’ as the Shakespeare guy once famously proclaimed in his play. Today, the stage is set for you to say what you want, if it’s legal and not offensive.

But some take offence regardless.

Gary Vaynerchuck states “if you’re good enough, no one is holding you back”.

You have to be ready to speak up for what you believe and use your voice. Use your experience and fresh ideas to influence wider thinking. Don’t always follow, but lead. Take the lead if you are good enough and the chances are, you’re ready now.

Take the risk, be prepared to make a mistake, don’t be denied your opportunity to add to the debates and comment, rather than just like. Don’t just follow the obvious for the sake of it.

Don’t waste your vote. Don’t vote if you’d rather not.

You’re ready for anything.

But do as you like. It’s your call. Stay resilient in yourself and feel good about it. Be ready, because you are.

Unless of course you know you’re not ready yet. Then you weigh up the risks for yourself. Seek advice. Take the necessary steps to make yourself more resilient and then, when the time comes, walk on the stage and do your thing.

Good people will listen to what you have to say.

Gary Vaynerchuck states “if you’re good
enough, no one is holding you back”.

To be continued…

Ok, so you’re watching your favorite TV series as its getting towards the climax. You’re waiting in anticipation of just what’s going to happen next. When suddenly… BOOM! To be continued… is on the screen right where the action is supposed to be! You feel robbed, cheated even. I bet those three little words annoy the pants off you right there and then?

We don’t want words do we? Give us the action, please? Nooooooo ☹! Don’t make us wait another week, let alone another day, for the next episode!


That makes you the hero right?But you’re the audience and that makes you the hero, right? You are in control. You want it now and you can find a way to make it work for you. Catch up, box set binge, record the series as a whole and watch it when you have the power!

Blast through the TV adverts, as you shoot them down at warp factor x30 speed on the remote control! And just how awesome do you feel when you get us all right to the very start of the next part? Come on… fist pump you because you deserve it; you are the hero!

We want to be in control of the to be continued. We want it now and we don’t want the action to be continued later.

remote control

Road Block

But what if the to be continued represented your life? Your work; your business? Your family and your lifestyle? Your source of income? Your vocation? Your status and your purpose? What if, it’s no longer just the tv program that you have to wait for, but it’s the sustainability of your lifetime of adventure, supported through your employment?

Whatever has gone wrong, a magical remote control in your hand isn’t going to give you the option and ability to fast forwardWhat if your workplace is put on hold because something has gone badly wrong and it needs recovering to get back up and fully functioning? Whatever has gone wrong, a magical remote control in your hand isn’t going to give you the option and ability to fast forward, pause or record until you are ready to pick it back up.

You want and need your life adventure in which you are one of the main stars to continue, and one of life’s complications, is that you need the income from that job, to help you on that life journey; to battle the enemies, rescue the beautiful woman/man from danger, then ride off into the beautiful sun set or clear magical night time sky.

This call to adventure we are on is ours because it is our life. Even if we don’t always agree with employers and their dastardly policies and procedures; their evil soldiers and their workplace weapons. You know where the backstabbers are ‘who smile in your face, but all the time they want to take your place (The O’Jays). But you also know where the good people are, the friends; those you like and trust and will be your supporters. Those you need, and in return, need and look up to you.

So, when the workplace is under threat because it could blow up or sink; be attacked by the cyber terrorists or some other source of big major disruption which ultimately, may put you, your life adventure and others at risk, now is the time for the business to be continued.

game over

It’s going to be hard and it’s going to be tough. It isn’t going to be pretty and we might sweat a little as our heart rate gets faster and faster. You may have sat in on a presentation in a past life. This the big one. This battle is called… Business Continuity Management.

But together, with the right guidance and experience; the right coaching and confidence, we can find a way, because once again, you can be the heroes to get us through.

Emerging Through

Plans and procedures may be in place. Risk assessments may have been taken and the business, if they are a good-hearted culture, will know what they want and what they need to do, to survive. They have got business continuity management (BCM for short, to help you save your breath), in place and we should be aware of it, trained and exercised; ready for the call to action to be continued.

But the business needs its heroes like there’s no tomorrow. No catch up, no box set binges, no pause while we go for a wee and put the kettle on. The business needs to continue, and the incident won’t wait for comfort breaks. No recording clashes. You must choose which thing you want to continue viewing?

The business needs its heroes like there’s no tomorrow!But because you want and need your life adventure to be continued and there are people you can help, we can work together to build resilience and help save the day, perhaps even save some lives too!

BCM isn’t just about looking after the business and the enemies within. It isn’t just about keeping its empire going to serve and collaborate with other kingdoms. BCM also helps us live our lives the way we hopefully want to live.

We, said the late Bowie, can be heroes, just for one day. Nah…. scrap that David! Don’t underestimate the size of the task ahead. We may need you to be heroes for more than one day. And together, we can help us all, to be continued.

Magical gifts to overcome your fears

I worry about things, don’t you?

The other weekend, whilst doing a spot of middle aged ‘pottering’, we were walking around the garden centre and I started to feel an irritation on the back of my right wrist. So, as you do, I began to scratch it and I didn’t think too much about it at the time, even though it persisted. On inspection, there was nothing visible to worry about. No fear.

I was in control, no worries, no fears.A few hours passed by, we carried on, ‘pottering’ (hate that word, but we do), with the rest of the planned Saturday schedule and I never really gave much thought to my hand. Back at home in the evening, I noticed my right hand had started to swell up and I realised that I had been bitten at some point (the damn garden centre), so I took an antihistamine tablet. I was in control, no worries, no fears.


Throughout the night, the hand grew bigger and more painful. In fact, my right hand now resembled someone else’s hand altogether! I took another antihistamine and thought I would go to the chemist on the Sunday morning to get some advice. I wasn’t worried; no fears, just inconvenient really. It was a sunny bank holiday weekend in the UK. A rarity, so grab it whilst we can!

The pharmacist eventually gave me some advice and at this point, I should tell you, that I had used a pen to mark the tracking of the swelling, so we could see it was spreading. Some more cream and a stronger dose of antihistamine and if it gets worse, go to the minor injuries department they said.

We left the chemist and fortunately, for me, the ice cream van parked up right outside took away any further worries or fears.. (and pain), and with all the remaining manly strength I could muster…. I managed to hold and eat an ice cream! I can multi task, no fear!

ice cream cone

Now although I felt a little better (its marvellous what an ice cream can do for the spirit), I decided not wait for tomorrow, but I would go to minor injuries today. I was not entirely satisfied with the advice I’d been given by the pharmacist. I had some (medical) experience and I still had some worries left.

We went to the minor injury unit and the great, wise nurse reassured me and gave me some additional, comforting advice and a sling (an official badge of injury for sure); told me to elevate and rest and see how the antihistamines work over the next 24 hours. If the tracking spreads, come back. No worries, reassured, no fears.


Eventually, I had to return to the minor injuries unit the next day, as the infection had spread significantly up my arm and a course of antibiotics were prescribed, which duly worked over the next 7 days.

Though I worried that my hand looked ‘odd’ and what would others think, it still worked even if it didn’t look or feel right. I could still do things, even if not to full working speed.

I needed to be more resilient and make sense of my worries and fears and the bottom line was, I could still function in some capacity.I needed to practice what I preached; I needed to be more resilient and make sense of my worries and fears and the bottom line was, I could still function in some capacity. I wasn’t closed for business by no means.

The gifts of honest assessment, expert opinion, experience, reassurance, guidance, advice and confidence, along with some mitigation measures to ease the impact, had all helped to ease my worries and fears. These in fact, were plain and simple gifts but they had a real magical effect on addressing my fears. Even the ice cream took away my worries, for a few moments at least!

We are all human and susceptible to injury and illness. To disruption of our normal patterns and habits. Eligible for worries and fears. We use our own experiences and those of others, to lessen the impacts and help each other through the tough times, or to be better prepared for them ahead.

earth view from the moon

Resilience comes in many forms and does not need to be complicated. Just as art mirros life, resilience mirrors life.

We use the similar skill sets, logic and tools, to help us overcome and get through our fears and worries. We can do this in work and in life.

We are all a business to some extent. Socrates famously proclaimed, ‘To be is to do’. I believe we live and we do; we worry and we do. We are resilient and we do.

Together, we can fear less.

The Generation Game: Where resilience matters

Born in the sixies, I grew up a child of the seventies, when there were only three UK television channels available to watch (if you were fortunate enought to have a TV!).

I was raised on a council estate in a working class family and money was tight. Our TV even had a money meter fixed to it, as did the electric meter too! It was a norm back then. It was a way of surviving and living and we were happy. We were resilient.

A ‘family treat’ happened on Saturday evenings when we would watch the BBC programme ‘The Generation Game’. A TV ‘game show’, then presented by the late Sir Bruce Forsyth who passed away in 2017. The format of the show involved family members, usually two adults, one older, one younger (hence generation link); with the aim to take on tasks and skills and compete against another ‘family team’.


Paul suggests listening to this song to accompany reading this post!

Light entertainment as it’s called

The family who scored the most points along the way, eventually had the chance to witness a converyor belt, loaded with prizes for a short a time, before having to recall the items one by one a short while later. Only one of the family members did this task.
Whatever items they could remember, they took away with them. The audience shouted to help the person remember what had passed by on the belt. It was indeed… ‘a good game, good game‘ (as Brucie would say!).

Family Matters: Business Matters: Life Matters

I am aware that the BBC is bringing the programme back with new presenters in 2018. There have been a number of different presenters over the years and an absence of the programme from the screens altogether. But the concept of a ‘Generation Game’ should not just be restricted to a TV programme of ‘light entertainment’.

In resilience terms, we share what we see, know and do, with family, friends and work colleagues. Our experiences and our joint working together to take on challenges and tasks; not only to win ‘prizes or rewards’, but often simply to get through life and the business jobs at hand. It matters to us all. We share stories and experiences and we pass the information on.

We work together

Conveyor Belt Principle

In our daily family and working lives, it is a pretty good assumption that somewhere along the journey, you will have been trained by someone more experienced. You may have even trained others who had less experience than you. A generation thing perhaps?

There will be ‘family’ love and protective advice passed down through generations to help you along the way. ‘Don’t go off with strangers’ and ‘don’t play with matches’ are just some examples. All kinds of relevant useful tips and information, sat on a ‘conveyor belt’ we see, receive and pass on, with the aim of being resilient; winning or getting through the ‘game of life’.

If you can think of as a many useful and relevant resilient items and tips today, what would you expect to see on the ‘conveyor belt’ and how many would the next generation be able to understand and recall?

Cyber security, emergency plans, business continuity management, flood water protection, emergency grab bag, mobile phone, pen, paper, stay safe leaflet, fire extinguisher, water, clothing, blankets, personal protective equipment, emergency shelter… cuddly toy?

The Price is Right if you Play Your Cards Right

Ok, so I’m a bit of a ‘saddo’ and I can recall other Bruce Forsyth TV programmes of ‘light entertainment’ over the years. The Price is Right and Play Your Cards Right are pretty universal concepts involving ‘games’ that particpants play to ‘win’.

Modern shows such as The Chase, Pointless, Tipping Point and I suspect, a whole lot more from around the globe, could easily be linked, with the concept of resilience. The taking part that counts or playing to survive, get through to the next heats, playing to win? That is what life and business is about.

We will take on challenges and tasks,
share some knowledge and work together
and be resilient

Everyone’s a Winner?

No, of course there are winners and losers. That is life and business again. For whatever reason, it happens. But resilience is an immensely essential role in the everyday lives of leaders and players. Both in life and in business. The subject should never be totally confined to being compartmentalized into personal and business (organizational) resilience.

Resilience transcends and crosses all walks of life and business, because there is a human, family value to it.

Resilience is not ‘light entertainment’ of course not, but it starts within the family and generations first and then grows with maturity and experience, in the wider business and working life.

We will always be involved in The Generation (Resilience) Game, because we need it.

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. Paul wants to help everyone be a bit more resilient because they can!

Motivated or CBA?

Have you ever put your mobile device on charge and then discovered, sometime later, that you never switched the power on? A real ‘Grrr’ moment and perhaps even a #ffs if you were in a hurry!

This happened to me the other day and when I told my wife, she said that sums me up from time to time.

“You’re plugged in ready to charge
but your not switched on”

It made me think about life and work and that this statement is pretty much like any organization; not just on a Monday but any day of the week. Sometimes we set off with great intention and purpose, only to find we are ‘deflated’ by the actions of others (or lack of), such as leaders and teams.

This creates the ‘CBA’ phenomenon (Can’t be Arsed), which occurs from time to time across most people and most organizations.

But what sets us apart,
is those that do and
those that don’t

Perhaps we all experience an element of CBA mentality; a lack of drive to ‘make it happen’ when we really should actually be doing ‘it’ (whatever ‘it’ maybe). But the difference is sometimes, we still get up and do it to the best of our ability even when we don’t feel like doing the job in hand.

Sometimes it doesn’t feel comfortable to do but we make the effort because we believe it is right. We work at it.

It is easy not to be switched on
by others, (turned on, is a
different subject altogether)

Leaders believe they might have you ready to go with their direction and strategy; but unless we are fully switched on to making it happen, the end results will not be as effective as they should be.

Leadership, in and across any organization or profession, involves not just believing people are ready, but making sure they are fully switched on and prepared. A quality assurance check. The ‘go no go’ type attitude.

Inspiration to make that happen, really comes from both the top and the bottom.

Leaders need to motivate, maintain and
check; team members need to take
responsibility to do the same

It is easier to settle for the CBA position, rather than motivate ourselves to make it happen; but sometimes, we have to take the rough with the smooth, the good with the bad and just do it, if we are to achieve success.

Paul Kudray

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – 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.

Good days and bad days; being resilient and able to succeed

At the end of today, whatever your activities, work or day off involved, perhaps you may be asked ‘how was your day?

You know what, even if no one is around to ask you directly later, please permit me to ask; So, just how was your day? Was it a good day or a bad day? Was it ok or have you had worse?

I just hope that it wasn’t a s**t day for you to be honest, though sadly, we know they do happen!

Real world resilience

As we go through our day, hopefully we have been fortunate enough to be safe and well by the end of it; but all sorts of things will happen and go on around us along the way. Some good, some average and some not so good. S**t happens, right?

People you may like or dislike, or just don’t ‘get’, may be around and try and steal some of your positivity from you, don’t be pinned down. You may even steal some positivity from someone else! Hopefully someone smiled at you and you smiled back.

Better still, you smiled first!

Good days and bad days; being resilient and able to succeed

The world of today is full of articles and stories of risk management, leadership, resilience and the rest, but in the main, they are all connected in respect of their attempts to help us survive and thrive as they say; get us into a position to succeed in what we do and who we are. It is all a transition between business and real world resilience; our own resilience.

All of my heart

We live our lives today where people complain, dwell and moan about this and that; more often than not, the moaning is about something neither they nor you and I can do anything about.

I have a natural empathy for those who do find life hard and tough for their own reasons but others just moan for the sake of it. However some people, who have just cause to moan about the life hand they have been dealt with, never complain at all.

Ask any medical person, it isn’t always the patients who make the most noise who are the ones with the most serious injuries!

Fast and furious

Our work and personal lives can run at a fast and furious pace in this modern world and that’s the way of the future too. There has never been a greater period of technology and the cability to achieve and succeed at whatever we choose to do.


Time is so very precious and we want to make sure we get the absolute most out of what we have. But often we don’t really see and live in the here and now until it has gone.

At the end this day, will it have been a good or a bad day for you and those around you? Time will tell of course but just how much of it will your own personal resilience and strengths have helped you to succeed in your activities?

I suspect and hope, that the answer is a great deal and you may have even had enough personal resilience to share with and help others around you. Great job!

Just like leadership qualities, being resilient isn’t always an acquired skill. If we are fortunate enough to have resilient qualities in our own power, then we use them without ever being told when to do so.

Regardless of what type of day we are having or had, that gives us a position to succeed.

Paul Kudray

ABOUT THE AUTHOR – An international business resilience leader, Paul Kudray is a Fellow of the EPC and a Fellow of the Institute of Civil Protection and Emergency Management (FICPEM). He is a Lead Auditor for ISO 22301. In 2014 he founded his own consultancy and he is an excellent forward thinking resilience innovator and blogger.