The Human Risk Podcast

The Human Risk Podcast

People are often described as the largest asset in most organisations. They are also the biggest single cause of risk. This podcast explores the topic of 'human risk', or "the risk of people doing things they shouldn't or not doing things they should", and examines how behavioural science can help us mitigate it. It also looks at 'human reward', or "how to get the most out of people". When we manage human risk, we often stifle human reward. Equally, when we unleash human reward, we often inadvertently increase human risk.

Episodes

June 23, 2022 66 min
What happens when a journalist investigates one of the biggest scams in history? My guest on this episode, Jamie Bartlett is the author of ‘The Missing Cryptoqueen’, which tells the tale of his multi-year investigation into the disappearance of Dr Ruja Ignatova.

Dr Ruja is the founder of OneCoin, a cryptocurrency that sold itself as an alternative to Bitcoin but was instead a pyramid-style scam which relieved people from 175 countri...
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How did a journalist with a relentless appetite for the truth, bring down a $30bn German tech company? The company in question is Wirecard and the journalist is my guest on this episode, FT reporter Dan McCrum. He’s just released a new book called ‘Money Men: A Hot Startup, A Billion Dollar Fraud, A Fight For The Future’ in which he explores both the story of Wirecard and its downfall and the efforts he went to as a journalist to...
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June 12, 2022 60 min
How can we be better at negotiating and why does it matter?

When we think of negotiation, we tend to think of formal situations like buying a house, sealing a business deal or getting a hostage released. But it also applies to many of our day to day conversations, where we’re looking to achieve a particular outcome.

My guest on this episode Fotini Iconomopoulos had a childhood nickname of ‘The Negotiator’ and she’s been doing it e...
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June 4, 2022 60 min
What is Creative Courage & why do we need it?

On this special episode of the show — which I’m releasing between the normal schedule — my guest James Victore helps me to explore why being creative is a matter of courage and why we should embrace it.

A word of warning: the episode contains lots of adult language. It’s also one that some regular listeners will absolutely love and some o really won’t. Which is ok from my perspectiv...
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June 2, 2022 60 min
Why did a group of hackers with links to North Korea launch a cyber attack on Sony Pictures in 2014? That’s what journalist Geoff White set to find out. In doing so, over a period of several years, he uncovered a trail of criminal activity that included a bank heist, data leaks and money laundering.

On this episode, Geoff, whose new book The Lazarus Heist tells the story of what he discovered, explains how Geoff came to investigat...
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What is ESG and why might it lead to poor decision-making?

You probably know it’s short for Environmental, Social, and Governance; an acronym that covers three topics of interest to investors. In simple terms, three things they look for to determine how environmentally and socially conscious the company is. Or in even simpler terms, is this a good, ethical company?

As regular listeners will know, this isn’t an investment podcast, s...
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How can we manage the ethical challenges faced in business?

On this special episode of the show, I’m speaking to Professor Josephine Nelson, the co-author of a brand new book called ‘Business Ethics: What Everyone Needs To Know’. Josephine — who publishes as JS Nelson — is a Professor of Business Ethics (Law) at Villanova Law School and is currently a visiting professor at Harvard business school.

The episode is special because I’m ...
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How can we implement Behavioural Science in larger organisations?
On this episode, I’m doing a deep dive into practical Behavioural Science with three practitioners from across the globe, who talk about some of the projects they’ve been working on. 


My guests are all from Ogilvy Consulting, a leading Behavioural Science practice and each work in different regions.

Heather Watson heads up Ogilvy’s North American BeSci team from Aus...
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How can we travel adventurously while still being sustainable? I’m a huge fan of exploring, but I’m also very conscious of my environmental footprint.

On this episode, I’m speaking to Sustainable Adventurer Wiebe Wakker. He’s a Dutchman who likes exploring the world in an environmentally friendly ways.

Wiebe came to my attention earlier this year when we went from Amsterdam to Dubai by train for an environmental conference. That w...
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How can charities use Behavioural Science to be more effective at fundraising? It’s a question a number of listeners have asked me to explore; either because they work for charities or because they want to help their favourite causes to raise more money. Even if neither of those things apply, what we can learn from how charities can be better at raising funds, is relevant in other contexts.

My guest on this episode is Maddie Crouc...
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What does behaviour have to do with procurement? On the face of it, not much. But as my guest on this episode David Loseby explains, behind every procurement and supply chain operation, there are human beings involved in the design and management of the processes.

In other words, they’re areas that present huge opportunities for human risk to manifest itself. As David, who specialises in helping companies to manage the behavioura...
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What makes a good leader? When we think of leaders, we often imagine lone, inspirational figures lauded for their behaviours, attributes, and personal decisions. However, leaders also have an impact on the way people around them make decisions.

My guest on this episode is Professor Don Moore. Don is the Lorraine Tyson Mitchell Chair in Leadership and Communication at Berkeley Haas and serves as Associate Dean for Academic Affair...
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What distinguishes a good leader from a bad one?

My guest on this episode, Wendy Lambourne is a proponent of Legitimate Leadership — the idea that to have real power, leaders need to have legitimacy. Not by dint of being appointed, but by the way in which they fulfil their role.

She believes that leaders stand or fall at the end of the day on the basis of their intent, or motive. Or to put it another way, whether they’re in the rela...
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April 8, 2022 60 min
When we need to solve problems, we often think we need to develop new ideas. But what if that were wrong?

On this episode, I’m joined by Behavioural Science practitioner Sam Tatam whose new book Evolutionary Ideas shows how behavioural science and evolutionary psychology can help us solve tomorrow’s challenges. Not by divining something the world has never seen, but by borrowing from yesterday’s solutions – often in the most unexp...
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How do we measure the effectiveness of Compliance programs? It sounds like a simple question, but it is actually hard to answer. And it's not just a challenge facing Compliance Officers.

If you work in Ethics, Risk or even as a Regulator, you'll recognise the dynamic. You've probably either been asked to demonstrate the effectiveness of your program or had questions asked about your budget or resources. And usually, th...
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March 26, 2022 57 min
Ever had a terrible customer experience? Of course, you have. They’re very common. But why? My guest Michael Bartlett has just written a book on the dark side of customer experience - in other words, the processes that companies engage in that irritate the hell out of us.

The purpose of Michael’s book isn’t — you’ll be pleased to hear – to help companies make their processes more irritating. Rather it's to help them identify w...
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Why might an innocuous-sounding word we all use, result in a social injustice? The answer is: when that word is ‘accident’. It’s something we hear all the time. “Sorry, it was just an accident” or “there’s been a traffic accident’.

But have you ever stopped to think about the impact the word has? I hadn’t until I read the book by my guest journalist Jessie Singer. In ‘There Are No Accidents’, she explains that the vast majority ...
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Why might insubordination be a good thing? Normally when we use that word, it’s seen as a negative. 
But there’s an alternative interpretation, where insubordination is seen as a positive, constructive challenge to traditional orthodoxy. For ideas to evolve and societies to progress — in other words, if we want to mitigate human risk - we need to cultivate rebels who are committed to challenging conventional wisdom and improving on...
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March 10, 2022 64 min
What should you listen to when you’ve heard the entire Human Risk podcast back catalogue? I'm glad you asked. Because one of the aims of the show is to explore ideas, stories and people that can help to inspire us to think differently about human risk. And that includes pointing you in the direction of other content producers who have interesting things to say.

On this special episode, I’m introducing a fellow podcaster who pro...
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Why should businesses get involved in politics? Traditionally companies have tried to avoid getting involved in political issues, because remaining apolitical, means you avoid offending anyone. But in the 21st century, there is an increasing expectation that companies will take a position.


As we’ve seen with the invasion of Ukraine, businesses have been taking steps to engage with the public mood. Some have ceased doing business...
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