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SVP International

5 Different Kinds of Risk

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In our Financial Modeling and Sustainability workshop, facilitated by Cheryl Sesnon of the Jubilee Women’s Center, and Amy Zimerman, Faculty of the Executive Nonprofit Leadership Program at Seattle U., we first looked at the different kinds of risk that could be found within an organization – any organization. The different types of risk found under the five main themes were wide and varied, and could all potentially lead to a financial risk of some kind.

Can you add to the list? What surprised you, or made you think?


  • Patents and product

  • Audience and customer

  • Too broad

  • Under-estimating competition

  • Under-investing in marketing

  • Politics

  • Changing environment


  • Spread too thin

  • Competing committments

  • Single-minded

  • Lifestyle vs. worklife

  • Ego

  • Succession planning

  • Micro-manager

  • Lack of vision

  • No people skills

  • Leadership style

  • Too independent


  • Not having a team

  • Hiring too quickly

  • Not recognizing holes

  • Lack of diversity

  • Cultural competency

  • Poor conflict management

  • Having skills in place

  • Lack of shared vision

  • Disparate committments

  • Unfair work load

  • Inattention to team

  • Compensation

  • Volunteers/employees

Sales and Marketability

  • Not defining market

  • Cost of acquisition

  • Improper pricing

  • Assumptions

  • External events

  • Closed deals

  • Quality products

  • Under-investment

  • Expansion

  • Sales

Financial Resources

  • Lender capital

  • Under-estimating need

  • Demanding investors/lenders

  • Cash flow

  • Terms

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