Monday, October 24, 2011

One thing in common...

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, Greek currency crisis, AIG’s bailout and the US debt crisis all have something in common.  They all operate in highly regulated industry sectors and have sophisticated risk management programs. What they have in common however goes further than that - those risk management systems were manifestly inadequate.

The volatility of recent years has rightfully called into question the effectiveness of current risk management processes. Investors, regulators and the public are all seeking greater visibility into the positive and the negative impacts of risk management initiatives. It’s no longer enough to build a robust risk management system - ISO31000 and any number of other risk frameworks, offer us insight into how to do that - the challenge is to tell if your risk management system is actually effective. Is it delivering the outcomes that it was designed to deliver, and are those outcomes supporting organizational objectives?  
Figure 1: Linking risk management to organizational objectives

Every year we spend billions of dollars on risk management initiatives – most without any subsequent assessment of their effectiveness. How do you tell if the million dollars spent last year on risk mitigation actually delivered benefit and/or reduced risk? How do we tell how an organization is performing against its peers in terms of ROI on risk mitigations?

According to Wikipedia:
"The late-2000s financial crisis (...Global Financial Crisis ...) is considered by many economists to be the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. It resulted in the collapse of large financial institutions, the bailout of banks by national governments, and downturns in stock markets around the world. In many areas, the housing market had also suffered, resulting in numerous evictions, foreclosures and prolonged vacancies. It contributed to the failure of key businesses, declines in consumer wealth estimated in the trillions of U.S. dollars, and a significant decline in economic activity, leading to a severe global economic recession in 2008."
It's easy with hindsight to see the downstream impacts of poor risk management practices but just how do we tell with foresight?  That's for another article, but you'll find the first clue in Figure 1 above.

1 comment:

  1. Go to and learn about a patented business method called ARQ, which measures the ROI for any company.