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Rebranding Your Risk Management Identity

You can never score in a game if you play too much defense. That’s Carol Fox’s take on personal branding for enterprise risk management (ERM). Taking a cue from notable business writer Tom Peters, Fox writes for Risk Management Magazine about the promise of value, the focus on customer delivery, and what it means for risk managers.

Defining Risk Management

How risk management professionals brand themselves is important. But before that can be achieved, it is necessary to understand how risk management can mean different things depending on a given context. As Fox explains:

…risk management may refer to an organizational function: the area that holds responsibilities for shaping risk principles and policies, and consulting, communicating and training others on risk practices. More often, risk management is described as an assessment process for identifying, analyzing, monitoring and reporting on risks—either superimposed on or embedded within other processes or initiatives.

For the purposes of this article, risk management can be defined as a way of behaving in concert for the purpose of reaching a particular set of goals. Within the phrasing of that definition, risk can be viewed in a more productive way.

Happy Hurricanes

Using Fox’s example of the risks imposed by hurricanes, we are right to assess the potential downsides – the loss of life, displacements, physical damage, or disruption to businesses. But if we perceive risk management as a cooperative effort for achieving particular goals, then it is possible to also see the benefits of the hurricane – opportunities for much-needed rebuilding of communities, the sale of construction services and restoration materials, or the social and economic impact of clean-up efforts.  

Changing Perspectives

The point is that risks can be absorbed by a company and exploited for gain just as much as they imply a loss – if we adopt the right perspective. With change as the ever-present constant, it may be more reasonable to consider rebranding ERM as a risk-tolerant profession. One could make the argument for strategic risk management (SRM) to be integrated into ERM, as it encapsulates a deliberate and proactive approach to seeking opportunity in addition to assessing uncertainty.  This takes the branding approach of delivering value to customers and that of continual enhancement for risk management seriously.

Read the entire article at: http://www.rmmagazine.com/2013/11/01/rebranding-your-risk-management-identity/

About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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