There are many ways to perform Risk Assessments. However, organizations often use limited resources to identify risks and risks are discussed, for example, through interviews and documentation research. During several interview sessions with employees from the Business, risks are discussed in the area of​​responsibility of the interviewee. This requires multiple interviews (which must be prepared and scheduled), reports must be made and fed back, and finally all risks must be summarized. All this takes time and energy. My experience is that this can be done in a much more effective and efficient way. In this blog I will explain how you can identify risks via Mind Mapping.

Mind Mapping

Due to my years of experience as a consultant, I have noticed that using interactive workshops is often more fun for employees than interview sessions. This is often done in groups, whereby everyone is expected to have an active attitude. Because there is more interaction, people also remain sharper and involved. An additional advantage is that people get ideas from colleagues, so more information is brought up. 1 + 1 = 3, if you will.

A tool that I use a lot in recent years is Mind Mapping. This is a brainstorming tool and consists of a diagram that is built up through terms or concepts around a central theme. This is also known as the Bow-Tie method. All terms are related to the central theme, but relationships can also be indicated between the different terms. Because everything is displayed visually, participants continuously see the (growing) Mind Map, which helps to come up with new, relevant aspects and relationships. In fact, this method has been around for about 60 years, but in my view it is still relevant and very applicable.

Practical application in Risk assessments

As indicated, I use Mind Mapping to identify risks with groups of employees or to further analyze specific risks according to causes, consequences and control measures. This requires relatively little preparation. It is important to have the right employees who know something about the subject together. Also, the group should not be too small (this is at the expense of the interaction) but also not too large (because people will lose attention during the session). A group of 4-6 employees is ideal. Obviously, using your own laptop or phone is out of the question.

You simply start with the topic or risk to be discussed as the central theme. In the example below this is “key person” risk. I then let everyone identify possible causes of this risk. For any cause, it is wise to identify potential consequences. Finally, (potential) control measures must be identified for all causes.

To classify the risks in order of importance, you can let the participants score all risks for likelihood and impact (via Excel, for example) in order to complete the risk assessment.

risk assessment mind map

Example of a Mind Map


Curious how mind mapping can help your organisation perform risk assessments? INTERMEDIATE can help. With our substantive knowledge, we find the right interim professional who can guide and support your organization. Interested? Please contact us:

This blog was written by Remco Spruyt.