In the business world, the term vulnerability refers to either of the following:
- Personal/Soft skills that enable conversations that matter to happen to build trust
- Business Risk
When used to better understand and connect with others, vulnerability can be an asset in the business world. It is an element that helps us:
- Build relationships that matter (with our teams, with our partners, with our customers),
- Have conversations that matter.
- Generate successful outcomes.
For example, vulnerability can show your true self or showcase honesty when you open up about something you would not usually share.
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When people feel like they can trust someone, they are more likely to consume solutions and ask for help from that person or organisation.
In terms of business risk, a vulnerability is a weakness that gives others the chance to impact or exploit you negatively. Alternatively, a vulnerability needs to be seen in terms of the risk that can:
- Slow down your ability to advance your purpose.
- Disrupt your ability to deliver value to your target audience.
For you as a business leader, this represents the range of weaknesses that need to be identified, profiled, assessed and determined on whether you want to address/de-risk.
These vulnerabilities need to be assessed across your various key organisational assets, identifying what can limit each asset from operating, advancing, or providing continued service to the levels/objectives your board/leadership/culture expects.
A report from the World Economic Forum, 2021 showcases the following areas as potential sources of vulnerabilities that cause worry (technical/other):