Blonay – Strategic Risk Taking

Blonay Ltd is an educational and advisory business specialising in Strategic Risk Taking – helping individuals to take the right risks and organisations to work effectively with risk.

Jamie MacAlister,  founder of Blonay, business school professor, advisor, coach and author of “Risky Strategy” see:,  believes that key to this is Character.  He invented the Blonay Character Profiler, a self-assessment tool featured on this website,  designed to create a profile of personal bias on three character dimensions:

  • Bold Creative
  • Empathic
  • Self-disciplined



This is a story that brings together and dismantles the well-used, and often abused, business terms “strategy” and “risk” in an exploration of what happens when the two concepts collide.

The story suggests that strategy is inherently risky, and that leaders and their organisations need strength of character in order to take the right risks in making strategic decisions. It explores the different ways in which leaders work with risk, and introduces us to formal analytical “elephants” and informal intuitive “tigers”. I look at risk as variability and as crisis – and how this flows through to financial and reputational risk. I look at illusions and mind games that can throw us off the scent.

I draw on the philosophy of winning, from business, military and sport perspectives. I consider how leaders select the right variables, and combine analysis with intuition to take smart risks. I look at how they innovate, and how they mitigate the risks of innovation. I think about what makes organisations better at dealing with risk, and what helps us as leaders to feel safer with it.

This journey draws from my experience as a lifelong business strategist, and from recent research I have been part of at Ashridge , looking at leadership and risk, and more specifically at the way organisations are currently addressing the confirmed existence of modern slavery in their global supply chains. The story concludes by questioning whether now is a time for business leaders to be proactive as the solution to, and not the cause of, such social issues, whether they need to re-think what is meant by winning, and what implications this might have for taking the right risk in strategic decisions.

Risky Strategy

This is a culmination of my experience as a Strategy Consultant for over twenty years, and research at Ashridge on how leaders work with risk, and most recently, looking at risk in the global supply chain, in the context of addressing the issues of modern slavery.

My thesis: “Good strategy is about taking the right risks” . This raises questions like: “How do we experience risk?” and “What defines right?” This is the journey that we are embarked on…..

This book is available at:

Book Author, Jamie MacAlister

Risky Strategy Book- Events

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