The Holistic Risk Mindset in Your Leadership Team

Being a business owner or CEO, you want to grow your business, think ahead and take care of your team. You invest our time and money to create value.  

To make an impact.  

To leave the world as a better place for future generations. 

For you risk is just an inevitable part of the business.  

And you know that things will never be as expected.


Why should we talk about risk?

Uncertainty and fragility of our world move us forward. Boost our creativity and collaboration. Challenge our assumptions and ways of doing things and managing the resources. 

The dual nature of risk consisting of harm and benefit far too often is mistaken as a duality of fear and courage. We all were imprinted with risk as a negative outcome, something to be controlled and avoided. Risk becomes a hot topic during crisis or when results are far below from expected.  

Consequently, risk is a forbidden topic in “normal” times. Instead, we waste our energy and talent firefighting the same problems. Hide our fears. Do not dare to ask uncomfortable questions and prepare for “what-ifs”. 

And it is the biggest mistake. 

Risk is not a manageable object but a mindset. 

The good news is that you neither need to onboard risk manager nor to implement risk management systems to instill the holistic risk mindset in your leadership team.  

How to instill a holistic risk mindset in your leadership team? 

A holistic risk mindset is nourished by open communication and collaboration in a team.  Most probably you already have some rituals with your leadership team where you bring important information to share and make decisions. These might be daily stand-ups or weekly planning and accountability meetings. We will use these rituals as a space for leadership team to instill and grow holistic risk mindset.  

1. Start with alignment first. 

We can’t foresee everything that will happen in the future, but we can align risk perception within our leadership team.  Sociologists define risk perception as our beliefs and judgments regarding threats to things we value. It starts with understanding what do you value most and want to keep and grow going forward – your impact, people, and relationship within the team and with your clients and suppliers. 

Then you need information that helps you to understand how successful you are and how your “valuables” are doing every day. Be open about grey areas and your critical resources and competences. Start bringing up the naked truth where you are blind, where you are lying. About you and business. Brave decisions will follow. 

2. Keep your eyes and mind open. 

Forget risk heat maps and risk registers. Have the bravery to replace opinions with facts. Encourage your team to stop lying to ourselves. Bring up the naked truth where you are blind and what results are surprising instead of being expected. 

When you are making important decisions, ask your team what can change your EXPECTED result and how you can notice it. You either discover gaps that require immediate action or research or define leading measures for your value-adding daily meetings.  

Focus on interdependencies instead of stand-alone strategic projects or major improvement. Your business is like a spider web – when you start changing one part, other changes will follow. Keep asking what changes in mindset and behavior are critical to achieving and sustaining the result. What should you stop doing.  

Warning: decision is just a start. Nothing will change until it changes. Daily or weekly accountability meetings in a team will help to do that faster.  

3. Ensure availability of resources to embrace unknown. 

Your biggest treasure is people. Nourish them with meaningful rituals, create safety and clarity practicing holistic business discipline. Do not create fake procedures from your fears – it will drain energy and waste time of your people. Allocate time for improvements and projects.  

Share financial results, demand and capacity facts with your team. Planning together you will discover how to extend your possibilities and navigate through uncertainties. You are here not to be busy, but to create value. 

Finally, be aware of success. You already know how unexpected success can kill if you are not ready. Always explore both sides – what if it will be better/faster/bigger than expected? How should we prepare for this? 

Holistic risk mindset is the light. 

Light that connects present and future. 

Light that makes us stronger and more confident to face uncertainties.  

Light that moves us from being fragile to antifragile. 

Nourished with curiosity, grace and passion about what we do. 

No more fake procedures.  

No more lies.  

No more fear.

I’d love to have the opportunity to talk to you about your business discipline in more detail. And if you’d like to partner with somebody who can help you embed daily or weekly holistic business meetings, Holistic Enterprise is here. We cover the meeting topic in depth in our Masterclass “Beyond Growth”.

Vilma Nasteckienė


Embrace risk as an inevitable part of your business
and unfake risk management forever.

Be brave. Be holistic.