Highlighting some areas where you may want to consider up-skilling

To stay relevant, risk managers need to constantly reinvent themselves. In this issue, we’ve highlighted some areas where you may want to consider up-skilling.

As any good risk manager knows, reputation is a company’s most important asset. With that in mind, we’ve got three brilliant features on defending this most valuable of intangibles. It all starts with managing your reputation online; there are plenty of scurrilous news outlets in cyberspace, which means online reputation management is more important than ever before.

Trying to silence the tweets altogether isn’t a sensible strategy. You could miss opportunities to engage with your customers and, besides, they’re bound to leak out somehow. Instead, embrace cyber risks and use them to your advantage (see how on pages 22-24).

We’ve also published a roll call of the 12 least ethical businesses. Turn to page 30 to see if your company is on there, and what you should be doing about it. Meanwhile, a corporate disaster, while on no risk manager’s wish list, could – if handled well – actually raise their profi le and improve their company’s image too (more on pages 28-29). Make sure you have the skills to help out in a crisis.

Closer supervision of companies is fi rmly back on the cards. So we’ve been asking around to see what impact this will have on the risk manager; a big one, I suspect (more on page 32-35).

Certain scientists say the use of nanoparticles will create a dangerous, sticky ‘grey goo’ that will infect the whole planet – somewhat alarmist perhaps, but what exactly is nanotechnology and how is the new science being applied? Currently, it’s mainly in healthcare, but 15% of goods could include nanoparticles by 2014. Your standard liability policy won’t cover nanotechnology risks, so get up to speed if you want a handle on any future threats (page 26).

In the same vein of future gazing, there are several possible routes the risk management profession could go. The role could expand so much that it encompasses everything a business does (some might say it does this already), or it could fade into the background.

Another alternative is that it becomes so ingrained into the nature of the business at all levels that a single, dedicated risk manager becomes obsolete. Turn to page 36 to see what our guest contributors think.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to our latest reader poll, on business continuity planning. It looks as though most of you have some sort of plan in place to cover your critical activities. Business continuity figures highly on the board’s priority list, which means that it’s a vital skill for risk managers to have.

Finally on the skill front, some of you may be interested to learn that I passed the IRM’s International Certifi cate in Risk Management. But that doesn’t mean I’m looking for a job in risk management. Not yet anyway.

Nathan Skinner, Editor, StrategicRISK