Recession has focused companies’ attention on risks, this is a big opportunity for the risk management community

In many European organisations the risk manager does not hold a very senior role. There are still relatively few chief risk officers or risk directors apart from perhaps in the financial and a few other sectors. However, economic recession has focused companies’ attention on risks. They recognise that failure to manage these effectively threatens their very survival.

This is a big opportunity for the risk management community. But taking advantage of this will mean that some risk managers need to develop new skills and employ new tools.

One of the attributes that is most lacking for many risk managers is confidence. This does not apply to what they actually do. The majority are satisfied that they work well and add value for their organisations. However, they are out of their comfort zone when it comes down to giving a boardroom presentation or making the case to the CFO for a risk management investment.

Communication generally is an area in which risk managers need to be very good. It lies at the heart of successful risk management.

There are a number of ways that risk managers can boost their ‘soft’ skills, improve their standing within their organisation and get their case across at a senior level. This year StrategicRISK is launching a new campaign to help promote the role of the risk manager by highlighting valuable tools and strategies. Each issue will include a feature specifically directed at this.

In connection with this, we plan to conduct research among the risk management community on where they think their strengths and weaknesses lie. This will provide us with valuable input on where we should be focusing our editorial campaign – and hopefully our readers will benefit as a result.

This campaign will complement our existing StrategicRISK European Risk Management Awards programme designed to celebrate excellence in risk management practice and enable risk managers to learn from others’ experiences.

In addition, we are working with UK risk management association Airmic and recruitment consultants GRS on preparing a report to provide careers guidance for Airmic members. Our contribution is interviewing 10 successful risk managers to identify key issues and turning points in their careers.

2010 is a milestone year for StrategicRISK as we celebrate our tenth anniversary. It seems fitting that we should do so with the launch of this campaign to contribute to the community which has supported us so loyally.

Finally, I would like to wish all our readers a successful new year. There is no doubt that it will be an interesting one!