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Predictive mindsets

Assessing and managing uncertainty while predicting future risks is something Rob McAlister, Director of Glenbarr consultancy, is very familiar with and he writes that all organisations and sectors can benefit from introducing a type of predictive mindset.

Messages coming from many governments suggest that we should be predicting much longer term implications, but the real art of risk management is looking at the less obvious interconnected and cascading impacts that others may well have missed.

This helps us to create detailed risk analysis, far more realistic situational awareness and, in turn, better forward strategies and business models.

Glenbarr delivers many projects and training courses both domestically and internationally so it’s important that we understand what post-pandemic business models will look like and assess the challenges ahead. There are many similar providers who believe they will be running regular projects or training courses by June or July – they may need to revise these expectations.

Let’s consider at five reasonable predictions that may impact those assumptions.


When and how these providers went into lockdown may have impacted their reputation, incurred unnecessary costs and left many staff such as in-house or contractors without any work. This might now be compounded by giving false expectations of June or July start dates.

Delivery methods

Many providers created some very good online tools at really reduced prices which could end up being a double edged sword in terms of finances going forward. The old crisis adage of ‘what we do in response, we pay for in recovery’ could never be truer. 


Even when budgets are in good shape, some organisations see training as a drain on bottom-line profit. Based on the fact many organisations will be struggling financially for some time, training of any sort will not be high on the priority list, especially if it costs more than it did before or during the pandemic.


Air travel will be slow to return to normal and airfares could soar as airlines and airports pass on the costs of implementing new measures following the coronavirus pandemic. So the costs of getting instructors or attendees to training venues may well be far more costly and difficult.

Capacity and capability

Did providers survive the months of downtime; did they remain visible to existing and new clients? Do they still have the same capability, resources and expertise to deliver as they did pre-pandemic? Many may have lost their most valuable asset – their experienced staff.

All organisations can learn from and apply these types of forward-looking predictive approaches to formulate their own strategies post-pandemic, during the slow time lifting of any restrictions and, most importantly, the tough economic times ahead.

That’s real crisis and risk management! 

Robert McAlister, 01/01/2016
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