The Unknown Side of the Scale

Jan 20, 2015

We should all know the scale: from Libra’s Zodiac Sign of and Themis, the ancient Greek Titaness holding up her sword and scales of justice, and how the balances that weigh both sides of the argument, helping us decide the truth. It’s a universal symbol of law, logic, reasoning, and the principles of decision making.

For many, though, the purpose of the scale is often misunderstood: it is often thought that the purpose of the scale is to “tip” and thus help make a decision for us. When one side is greater than the other, the scale will tip that way. In the courtroom, it’s often that we want the evidence to weigh one side down and “tip” our decisions.

However, the scale is actually a tool to show us balance. The scale is designed to use a known weight and balance it against an unknown. The goal is actually to get the scale to sit in harmony. When the scale is in balance, it identifies and measures the unknown side. When the scale is in balance it is telling you something VERY important: that you have a true measure of the unknown.

When you’re talking to your team about Risk Management, it’s imperative to get your risk vs reward scale in balance. You must understand both sides of the scale: just because there’s risk on one side, you need to fully understand the weight of that risk, and how far out of balance that will make your organization.

Too often when we see the scale unbalanced, we react quickly, not fully understanding why, or to the extent of the difference. The scale might have tipped because one side was slightly heavier than the other, or it might have tipped because it was significantly heavier. We simply won’t know unless the scale is balanced. Do we buy expensive insurance because we’re afraid of a particular risk? Do we ignore safety programming that would put our scale in balance for half the cost?

At Gregory & Appel, let us help you measure the unknown side of risk. Let us help get your scales in balance, so you truly are prepared and can measure what the scales should tell you – how to balance the risk vs the reward.