ERM Fundamentals

What Risk Ownership Is and Isn’t

In a previous article on assigning a risk owner, I discuss how designating someone to be accountable for a risk is important for ensuring that it does not fall through the cracks and that an appropriate response is developed and acted upon in a timely manner. The article provides a high-level overview of when a…
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Classifying Risk

4 Questions for Properly Categorizing Risks

Many, if not all, ERM thought leaders, including myself, agree that risk identification forms an essential foundation of an effective ERM process. Taking a haphazard approach is one of several preventable mistakes companies make with risk identification that can lead to wasted time, resources, and a general loss of credibility in the minds of executives.…
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6 Ways to Improve your ERM Program’s Scalability

Regardless of whether it’s an exercise program or business endeavor, there’s a certain energy and excitement when starting something new. We work with great anticipation of the benefits our efforts will bring. But as the old Proverb originally coined in the Robert Burns poem To a Mouse says, “the best laid plans of mice and…
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Don’t Be That Person: Attitudes and Phrases to Avoid in Delicate Conversations

Considering the resources and commentary out there, it’s easy to get the impression that ERM success is built on how well your identification, assessment, analysis, and reporting processes mesh with your company’s needs and culture. As long as these processes function well, your company will then reap the benefits of risk-informed decision-making and enjoy eternal…
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5 Ways to Improve ERM’s Reputation with Executives

The COVID pandemic of the last year blew the lid of uncertainty wide open… And while restrictions are easing and many are returning to the office, this uncertainty shows no signs of abating. In fact, it will continue to intensify. Now this may seem like an incredible opportunity for ERM to help the Board, executives…
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Taking a Growth Pause: Preparing for Long-Term Success

For this week’s post, I would like to share a guest article published in Carrier Management, a quarterly journal targeting P&C insurance executives. Like previous guest editorials, this article was written with a specific industry in mind, but the contents are applicable to any organization. When a company is in its infancy, the main focus…
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ERM for Small and Midsize Business: It’s Just NOT the Same

We’ve all heard it from politicians and the press, but it’s true – small and midsize business (SMB) constitutes the lion’s share of the economy. They account for 64% of new jobs created in the U.S. and over 90% of the “business population” according to this report. Gartner defines small businesses as those firms with…
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ERM standards

Making Sense of ERM Standards in a Volatile and Dynamic Environment

When we are new to something, our natural tendency is to seek out well-established, reputable sources for guidance. As a yummy example, once upon a time, I decided I wanted to make my own homemade chocolate chip cookies. My first step was to refer to the recipe on the back of the bag of Nestle-brand…
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risk owners

3 Steps to Ensuring Risk Owners Ultimately Fulfill Their Obligations

It’s all too common…we ask someone to help with something just to be disappointed later. It’s frustrating…believe me I know. When it comes to managing risks and opportunities, we assign an “owner” to manage the day-to-day and ensure someone is responsible for the risk (and oversee the mitigation activities). As I discuss in this article…
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