VIEW: Qualified risk professionals respond to crises and exploit positive opportunities

The global pandemic continues to cause uncertainty for businesses, and risk managers remain at the forefront of ensuring organisations survive and adapt. There’s currently a lot of focus in the UK on the risks associated with a return to the workplace, but this is only one specific aspect of the much bigger challenge of adapting to ongoing, unpredictable change.

One of the most important skills of the risk manager is their ability to connect disparate parts of the system, using often voluminous data to create insights and information about the next challenges which the business may face. This sense-making is even more critical given the magnitude of the current crisis, which could otherwise obscure the major and interconnected risks we face. Action is needed now to understand and manage the response to climate change risk, cyber risk, supply chain disruption, and the business threats from growing economic and geopolitical volatility.

Rising to this challenge goes well beyond traditional risk management approaches with its focus on risk registers and core processes. Great risk management is increasingly also about understanding horizon threats and identifying ways to build sustainable growth – whether that’s new markets, global opportunities, upgrading infrastructure, or investing in new technology and automation.

By channelling their skills and attention towards learning from the current crisis in a way that identifies new sources of value and growth, professional risk managers can help bring their organisations into a new competitive league.

Excellent risk management has never been a greater priority, and to be effective it must not be about stifling innovation and risk taking, but instead about enabling rapid growth and adaptation. Professional and qualified risk managers maximise the chance of sustainable growth by optimising risk and making deliberate, informed decisions that position their organisations to respond to crises and exploit positive opportunities.

The IRM and IOR stand ready to support the global risk management community in these critical goals.

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