In 2017, our members told us there was a need for risk professionals to upgrade some of their more traditional knowledge and skills and take a more progressive approach to risk management. They focussed on the key areas of: digital transformation; the balance between old and new skills; and integration of risk management across the business achieved by greater relevance and collaboration.
Risk professionals reported that they were up for the challenge to tackle emerging and increasingly intangible risks, to provide measurable results and more relevant risk financing solutions; and to play a leading role in crisis preparedness and response. They knew that a balance of the scientific and the artistic, the creative and the pragmatic was necessary, to deal with an increasingly connected world.
So what have been the “aha-moments” of risk insight, choice and decisions of the last 12 months?
Business failures and damage to reputation caused by alleged misuse of personal data, shock waves caused by less than impressive gender pay gap revelations, impending challenges levied by the GDPR, uncertainty surrounding life before, during and after Brexit, implications of Modern Slavery and inappropriate behaviour by well-known personalities and poor performances by well-known businesses with high customer expectations, all combine to send shock waves across the business environment of today. Organisations seem to be in a permanent state of pre-crisis or crisis.
Championing the need to engage with complex uncertainties may take some risk professionals outside their comfort zone. However, those who can pass the risk fitness test and who have strategic vision, influencing skills, and technological literacy as well as core risk-management knowledge and expertise, will be the best positioned to achieve management buy-in for helping their organisations manage a dynamic risk environment – which will continue to experience shocks and disruption. 2017 was no fluke – welcome to the future!
Julia Graham, Deputy chief executive and technical director, Airmic