Taming the trail: Risk mitigation in mountain biking and business

As a new convert to mountain biking, it didn’t take me long to realise that riders face an array of obstacles that can send you tumbling down a hill faster than a stock market crash. But what I soon learnt is that the secrets to risk mitigation in mountain biking also apply to the world of business.

Buckle up as I share a few words of wisdom on the winding trail of risk management.

Gear matters

Mountain bikers know that the right gear can be the difference between a graceful descent and an unplanned somersault. In business, your gear might not include a helmet, but it certainly includes technology and tools. Invest wisely, or you’ll be left scratching your head, wondering why your company’s website just crashed during the biggest sale of the year. And remember, a good helmet is like robust cybersecurity – it may not be attractive, but it’s absolutely necessary.

Training is key

In mountain biking, learning how to properly tackle obstacles is essential. In business, it’s no different. Invest in training for your team. Sure, it won’t help them jump a fallen log, but it will certainly help them navigate the tricky terrain of corporate compliance and industry regulations. Plus, you’ll all get a good laugh out of those teambuilding trust falls.

Risk assessment

Before bombing down a trail, a smart mountain biker assesses the risks. In business, you should do the same. Consider potential hazards, like market fluctuations or competition. Just as you wouldn’t attempt a double-black diamond trail on your first day, don’t dive headfirst into a new market without careful planning.

Adapt and pivot

In both mountain biking and business, the ability to adapt is crucial. When you suddenly find yourself headed for a tree, you better be quick to pivot – on your bike or in your business strategy. Being stuck in the same rut isn’t going to get you anywhere. Change direction and keep pedalling forward.

Know when to bail

Sometimes, no matter how skilled you are, things go south fast. In mountain biking, you might have to bail off your bike to avoid a gnarly crash. In business, there are times when you need to cut your losses and move on. That project that’s haemorrhaging money? Sometimes it’s better to say “adios” and focus your efforts elsewhere.

Support network

Every mountain biker knows the value of a good support network. In business, it’s no different. Surround yourself with experts and mentors who can help you navigate the rocky terrain. Just as a buddy can help you out of a ditch on the trail, a mentor can guide you through the intricacies of a complex business deal.

Celebrate the wins

Finally, in both mountain biking and business, it’s essential to celebrate your victories. Whether it’s conquering a tough trail or closing a big deal, take a moment to revel in your success. Pop a bottle of champagne or pour a glass of your favourite craft beer and remember that all the risks and challenges were worth it.

So, there you have it – the surprisingly similar worlds of mountain biking and business risk mitigation.

Whether you’re dodging rocks on a downhill descent or navigating the twists and turns of the corporate world, the lessons are clear:

be prepared, stay adaptable, and don’t forget to enjoy the ride. After all, life is an adventure, and both on the trail and in the boardroom, the bumps and bruises are just part of the journey.

Related insights

Subscribe to our newsletter


Propel your career

Learn more about Careers

Follow us

Find your closest office


Read our latest Clarity mag

View now

About the firm

Transparency reports