Monday, June 27, 2016

Motorcycling and Risk Management

Since taking my MSF class and getting my motorcycle license a couple of weeks ago, I've had this idea kicking around in my head, about the similarities and differences in risk management in my professional career, motorcycling, and flying.

Then a very smart project manager (whom I've never met) wrote that article for the Airline Reporter website. Although she's a helicopter pilot (I was working on my fixed wing license) and doesn't ride around on two wheels, she covered a lot of the same ground. In particular this section here:
No matter how much you train (or how excellent your school is), how well you pre-flight, the amount of sleep and nutrition you get, or the thoroughness of your planning and backup plans, there is risk involved when taking off and throughout the flight until the wheels are on the ground, key is out, and the blades stop turning. Risk will always exist, and as pilots we work to manage and mitigate this risk as much as possible. The only way to have zero risk is to never try and, well, that’s just failure.
However, no matter how much we mitigate, by nature of the job as a pilot, as you gain more experience, you take on more risk. When you start bringing passengers, you’re adding distractions. When you have advanced training, such as long-line or firefighting, it’s normal to advance in your career and do more risky things. Taking on more risk (in a responsible manner) equates to you achieving more – ultimately, literally saving lives.
You can apply exactly that to saddling up a motorcycle and riding. We can work to mitigate the danger by having more situational awareness, wearing protective gear, avoiding high risk situations such as drinking and driving, but there's still always risk.

Different people have different levels of risk tolerance in their own lives. I wouldn't try to fly a wingsuit through a two meter hole in a cliff, for example, but some people do. I won't ride without a full set of gear, which puts me in a distinct minority riding around in my home state. I'm not in favor of mandatory laws, just that you make an informed decision about whatever level of risk you choose to tolerate in your life.

Applying the same principle to work, some people stay with a job they hate, because the pay's good, the benefits are good, and the chance of leaving and failing is too great. Other people bet everything on succeeding in a start up. Nobody's wrong, and if they're making informed choices, good for them.

Ride safe, fly safe, and make smart decisions.

No comments:

Post a Comment