We want our #ChangingRisk campaign to inspire you to rethink old practices, push past common misconceptions and help elevate risk management to its full potential. Be part of the change.

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At the rooftop bar of the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London, Tower of London, the StrategicRISK international events team took time to sample a few house specialities. 

There is the Flambard Colada, a cocktail named after Ranulf Flambard, the first prisoner in the Tower of London, who escaped using rope hidden in a bottle of wine.

Another drink is the Lady Jane Grey, inspired by England and Ireland’s ill-fated ‘Nine Days Queen’ (poor Lady Grey only held the top spot for nine days in 1553 before being beheaded at the Tower).

We paired these with the Palaeolithic carnivorous menu (with vegetarian options) made up of crispy squid sticks (poking out of a pineapple), honey miso aubergine sliders (in bright pink buns), and charred radishes coated in something nocuous-sounding – ‘firecracker’ dressing.

This was all enjoyed from an eclectically designed rooftop terrace, overlooking London’s historic business district of insurers and financial institutions.

But why are we discussing one of London’s great rooftop bars? The terrace room’s name – the Wildside.

The Wildside! How apt, we thought, for our upcoming #ChangingRisk Live event, which will bring together a global network of progressive risk professionals who really want to push past convention and pioneer new thinking in risk management.

Because change is needed. Risk management sits on the precipice of being able to transform the way in which the board and the C-suite make critical decisions about their company’s future, performance, growth, opportunities, profit and loss, ethics, corporate social responsibility – and more.

Risk management could help businesses take more risks – good risks – and support objectives to fruition, not least safeguard them from damaging losses.

But, as many risk managers tell me, the profession needs to shrug off its ‘stuffy’ identity, and be rid of its image as the ‘messengers of bad news’. Sadly, one risk manager told me that her stakeholders have coined a new job title for her. To them, she’s the ‘business prevention lady’.

How wrong are they! But that’s the challenge: rebranding risk management, so that its true value is clearly recognised, internally and externally. So that risk managers themselves feel they can act on their full potential, sometimes buried beneath a wrath of misconception.

To some, that journey begins with re-evaluating the use of long-held risk management practices –

heat maps and matrices built on defining risks by their ‘likelihood’ and ‘probability’. Others question the relevance of risk models such as the three lines of defence. Some lament the use of ‘risk speak’ – ‘intangibles’, ‘the effect of uncertainty on objectives’, ‘consequence’ and ‘impact’. What do they actually mean to the stakeholders we are talking to?

There are, of course, plenty of examples, globally, of true innovation and new thinking in risk. And they come from the very risk managers who place a mirror in front of their profession and challenge traditional approaches – those who want to see change so that risk management can flourish in each and every business.

Suchitra Narayanan, former group head of risk and insurance at AirAsia, sums it up well in her piece for our #ChangingRisk report (see pp21–28):

“If I had a crystal ball, I would foresee risk management being an exciting and innovative industry to be in over the next few years… As long as the change starts with us.”

So, in the spirit of #ChangingRisk, we too are making a bold decision: to tear-up the traditional conference format, host an event in a not-so traditional conference setting, pack away our business suits, and gather to do one essential thing: discuss the state of risk management today and in its future.

Because why do it like everyone else? So we hope you’ll join us on the Wildside – we’ll be there on 15 and 16 October. I’ll take a Lady Jane Grey