By MATTHEW BRODSKY, senior editor/Web editor of Risk & Insurance®
If 2009 was not the year of risk management, then 2010 surely will be. The effects of the great financial shame of 2008 are still being felt; lessons are still being learned. Success is right there for the taking, for someone who's expert at the business of managing risk ... or who's great at throwing out some b.s. and making it stick.
I get the feeling, from reading, hearing and watching the media talk about risk management, that there's a lot of b.s. being tossed about.
CEOs and CFOs are talking good risk management games, not just in the financial services industry, but across corporate America, across the world. To back up this talk, leaders will need to turn to someone to actually implement something. Beware! That's where the conmen and conwomen slither in.
I'm not just referring to outside consultants paid obnoxious hourly rates to jibber-jabber in so much jargon that you stop listening and just give them the green light for whatever it is they want.
Inside your own organization, colleagues might seize on the opportunity and claim that they are the risk management champions. They could lurk in finance, supply chain, the mail room for all you know! They'll take the initiative and get the ear of someone important. And what would they say about you? Oh, well, you're just the guy or gal who buys insurance.
Pre-empt this invasion of your domain, risk managers. Speak up and demand what's yours before these imposters take it from you. It's time for you to get the ear of someone important and show them how much you've done beyond insurance purchasing. If not now, in 2010, when risk management is on the lips of everyone in business, then when?
Claim that mantle of chief risk officer. Carve out your own domain in the corporate structure. The only person you need to be directly answering to is the chief financial officer, got it? Heck, the CEO! The board!
Am I a dreamer? Too much so. Have I no clue about how bureaucracies in large American companies work? Just look at me. But I am also a realist. I see how important risk management is, I know the wealth of talent that's in the risk community. It's obvious that we need to promote the latter because of the former.
So seize the moment! (Or, fyi, I am launching my own risk management consulting business, to empower companies to engage their human capital and enable external leverages to facilitate the elevation of risk criticality in the enterprise. Call me.)
May 1, 2010
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