In the business world, is "vulnerability" an asset or a weakness?

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

Personal/Soft skills

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.

Component  Factors applied across our interactions 
  • Open
  • Honest
  • Transparent
  • Responsive
  • Consistent
  • Recognisable tone
  • Expert in your field
  • Recognised by other experts

When people feel like they can trust someone, they are more likely to consume solutions and ask for help from that person or organisation.

Business Risk

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):

This post and the information presented in newsletter, events and website content are intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. The views expressed herein are of the author alone and is not a recommendation of an investment strategy or to buy or sell any security, digital asset (including cryptocurrency) in any account. The content is also not a research report and is not intended to serve as the basis for any investment decision. While certain information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, neither the author nor any of his employers or their affiliates have independently verified this information, and its accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. The content is not legal advice. Any third-party information provided therein does not reflect the views of Accordingly, no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made as to, and no reliance should be placed on, the fairness, accuracy, timeliness or completeness of this information. The author and all employers and their affiliated persons assume no liability for this information and no obligation to update the information or analysis contained herein in the future.

In the business world, is "vulnerability" an asset or a weakness?

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