Mark Blasini

Concepts Toolbox

The volatility matrix


A way to categorize volatility - that is, events that may impact one's positioning or status. Helpful in understanding how to respond to any volatility within a system.

Looks like this:

Sudden Expected
Opportunity Sudden Opportunity Expected Opportunity
Threat Sudden Threat Expected Threat
Discontinuity Sudden Discontinuity Expected Discontinuity

Where an opportunity is any event that may bring about a positive impact to one's situation, a threat is any event that may bring about a negative change to one's positioning or status, and a discontinuity is any transitional event that brings about uncertainty, which could be positive or negative.

An example of an opportunity would be, for example, a contest with reward money. An example of a threat would be a predicted hurricane. An example of a discontinuity would be your boss retiring and a new one needing to take her place.

Likewise, events can be sudden (that is, unexpected) or expected.

Understanding the matrix offers a quick way to categorize impactful events so that you can respond accordingly.

tags: work; risk management