PPP 409 | Beyond Blaming and Cutting Corners: The Leader's Guide to Managing Risk, with author K. Scott Griffith

Total Duration 53:56

Earn free PDUs while learning how to manage risk Download episode 409


In this episode, Andy talks with K. Scott Griffith about his new book, The Leader's Guide to Managing Risk. The book explores the importance of building resilience and reliability in projects, teams, and life.

The conversation delves into the social and technical aspects of producing results, the need for human-resilient systems, and the impact of at-risk choices and cutting corners. It emphasizes the importance of recognizing and addressing risks, as well as creating a culture of safety and employee engagement.

In this conversation, Scott discusses the importance of managing risks in projects and organizations. He emphasizes the need to create a culture of psychological safety where team members feel empowered to identify and report risks. Scott explains the process of managing risks, including balancing risk and reward, understanding and managing risks, and considering performance-shaping factors. He also highlights the importance of building reliable systems and applies risk management principles to parenting.

Whether you're a project manager, a leader in your organization, or someone interested in the art and science of risk management, this episode is packed with thought-provoking insights and strategies to help you lead with confidence and navigate uncertainties more effectively.


  • 00:00 Introduction
  • 02:52 Start of Interview
  • 04:54 Why Tend to Focus on the People Instead of Systems When Things Fail
  • 06:41 How Much Should You Invest in Mitigating Risks?
  • 10:39 The Difference Between a One Off and a Pattern
  • 13:36 We Often Learn the Wrong Lessons From When Things Go Right
  • 16:27 Defining At-Risk Choices
  • 21:42 How Can We Help Reduce At-Risk Choices?
  • 27:40 How We Can Inadvertently Make It Worse as Leaders
  • 29:42 The Process Doesn't Start With Firing the Manager!
  • 41:04 How This Applies to Parenting
  • 45:07 Interview Wrap Up
  • 45:48 Andy Comments After the Interview
  • 50:19 Outtakes

Learn More

You can learn more about Scott and his books at LeadersGuideToManagingRisk.com.

If you’d like more on this subject, here are some episodes to check out:

  • Episodes 49 and 50, with Dr. David Hillson, the "risk doctor"
  • Episode 240, with Jim Detert about speaking up when it feels risky
  • Episode 379, with Angie Morgan Witkowski about how to look at risk differently

Check out Beacon by Anvilyard!

In risk management, anticipating problems is half the battle. Now imagine a tool that brings this foresight into everyday project tracking, where goals are updated automatically, risks are forecasted early, and you're equipped to navigate setbacks before they arise. Beacon, a Jira App offered by our sponsor Anvilyard, gives you this power.

By integrating with your Jira instance, Beacon makes it seamless to track and forecast the health of your project goals. It flags any goals at risk, giving you the foresight to course correct before your team misses. With Beacon, your team stays aligned and on track, effortlessly navigating toward success. I’ve been impressed with the tool, so check it out. You can learn more and try it for free by going to PeopleAndProjectsPodcast.com/beacon. Thanks!

Thank you for joining me for this episode of The People and Projects Podcast!

Talent Triangle: Ways of Working


The following music was used for this episode:

Music: On Point by Steven O'Brien
Available at: https://www.steven-obrien.net/
License (CC BY 4.0): https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

Music: Energetic & Drive Indie Rock by TaigaSoundProd
Available on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjeI1ViDB-c
License (CC BY 4.0): https://filmmusic.io/standard-license

PDU Categories: Ways of Working

Be the first to hear about new episodes, livestreams, webinars, and more!