Reidar Bratvold, Professor of Investment and Decision Analysis, University of Stavanger
January 17, 2018 (SDP Webinar Invited Talk)
Although an increasing number of companies use decision and risk management methods to deal with complex and uncertain decisions, they still get consistent under-performance in typical business metrics leading to less value than expected, or, more perniciously, than possible.
Uncertainty per se is not the culprit, rather a failure to make the best decisions under uncertainty – which are often non-intuitive. The real value-destroyers are biases and failing to plan for, and exploit, the different ways reality might evolve - if you under-estimate uncertainty, you are likely to under-invest in managing its consequences. Making the best decisions requires an accurate assessment of uncertainty (unbiased, neither optimistic nor pessimistic) – and an unbiased approach to managing its consequences – putting as much effort on capturing upside opportunities as mitigating risks.
In contrast to the approaches that focus on risk management, the approach discussed in this webinar brings an optimistic view to uncertainty. While there is no doubt that uncertainty can create losses, uncertainty can also be exploited by augmenting the upside and reducing the downside risks inherent in investments.
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Keywords: analysis and modeling anamod, risk and uncertainty riskunc, probability assessment probass, risk aversion riskaver, risk analysis riskanal, decision tree dectree, real options realopt, cognitive biases cogbias