Risk management is not just about avoiding losses. It is about saying ‘yes’ when it counts

One of the biggest challenges facing the modern risk and insurance manager is that of keeping all the plates spinning while at the same time looking ahead and planning for the next curveball.

We have faced two years of navigating a global shock, with all the related repurcussions of the pandemic, while at the same time managing a hard insurance market, keeping one eye on the horizon, collaborating to build resilience and staying abreast of changing regulatory requirements.

Many of you in the profession have faced the challenges of the last two years with the same, or similar, resources that you had at the end of 2019. But during that time your role and responsibilities has expanded considerably. 

We know this because you told us in last year’s benchmarking survey, when 72% of respondents said their risk management budget had stayed the same over the past 12 months. While this year’s survey is still open, we are seeing similar proportions of resource-strapped risk managers in 2021.

Despite this, there has never been so much attention to risk management at a boardroom level (according to 81% of respondents). More than ever, risk professionals must speak the same language as the C-suite.

Forget your multi-coloured risk tools and dashboards, you need to give senior management the insights they need, in a way they understand, so they can make better-informed decisions.

Risk management is no longer just a compliance function or cost centre. As we have said on more than one occasion in this publication, you are a strategic business partner and facilitator.

As Sacyr CRO Cristina Martinez Garcia tells us in this edition’s risk profile (page 16), risk management is not about avoiding losses. It is about empowerment and saying ‘yes’ when it counts.

Also in this edition we kick off a new and very exciting series, as a group of risk gurus (my description, not theirs) get their heads together to re-imagine risk management for the future. The world today, they argue, calls for a refresh.

In his article officially launching the #ChangingRisk Thinktank (page 19), AT-IPIC’s Adrian Clements says we need to be use an ‘outside-in’ approach to best gauge our position in the dynamic environment that surrounds us and build resilience.

As we come to the end of another turbulent year, everyone is beyond tired and change can often feel like the last thing anyone wants. There is comfort and safety in doing things the way we have always done them.

And yet, we need to get outside our comfort zones (as our wonderful Women in Risk note on page 23), challenge the status quo and think altogether more critically.

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