Risk managers need to change the way they perceive risk and move away from company-centric views, according to Adrian Clements.

A new way of thinking is required to grab the attention of company board rooms, corporate risk adviser Adrian Clements said at StrategicRisk’s #ChangingRisk series.

The experienced risk professional believes global risks are rapidly evolving, meaning new objectives and perspectives are required.

“What I’ve seen many times over the years is that people see the C suite and the risk managers try to put square pegs in round holes. I’d like everyone to throw away their preconceived ideas,” Clements said.

Rather than focusing solely on finance, operations, compliance, and strategic matters, a modern risk manager should look at the future risk universe.

“It’s company-centric, and it needs to change,” Clements said. “When I look at the news, I see civilisation as an issue, I see health as an issue, I see humanity, social issues, energy issues and transport issues.”

Clements believes risk managers and C-suites need to understand broader societal issues as well as the problems and risks facing their company.

Improved healthcare, for example, will lead to a rapidly ageing population, leading to “tremendous social issues”. “We need to look at the opportunities that might come from this,” Clements added.

Clements implored risk managers to use their imagination as they ponder future risks and threats.

“Don’t underestimate the idea of the imagination. Risk management is an art, as opposed to only a science,” he added.