Happy New Year!!

As of this writing, the year 2020 is officially in the rearview mirror. Suffice it to say that between the COVID pandemic, a contentious election year here in the U.S., a record-breaking hurricane season, and other challenges, we are all glad to bid the past year farewell.

Personally, the year had its ups and downs, but through it all, both Nathan and I tried our absolute best to keep our heads held high and maintain normalcy for our 5-year old son Jackson. We are beyond grateful to our clients and readers for their trust and loyalty…a mere thank you doesn’t begin to do it justice.

On the heels of this rollercoaster year, we are excited to see what 2021 brings. We currently have a new eBook on integrating risk into strategy in the works and hope to feature more interviews to help risk professionals like you better serve your organization in these tumultuous times.

With that said, my inaugural post each of the last three years has consisted of a compilation of internal and external resources for helping your organization achieve its goals and objectives.

So much like the long-standing tradition in the southern U.S. of eating black-eyed peas and collard greens on New Year’s Day (the former for good luck and the latter for cash), below is a compilation of must-read risk management, strategy, and other resources for this year.

Top ERM Insights blogs to help you develop more robust process and personal skills as a risk professional…

Instead of providing a list of top 10 posts like many other blogs do, I’m basing the following list on number of reads, comments, and conversations on vexing challenges fellow risk professionals face.

ERM Process and Decision-Making Fundamentals

1.   8 Ways Enterprise Risk Management is Different (…and Better) than Traditional Risk Management – a great primer for sharing with colleagues and executives on the value of ERM. 

2.   7 Questions for Understanding the Fundamentals of Risk Appetite

3.   Why Organizations Struggle with Key Risk Indicators and How to Make Them Work

4.   The Ultimate Primer for Effective Risk Reporting 

5.   Why Assigning a Risk Owner is Important and How to Do It Right

6.   The Why, What, and How of ERM Software: An Essential Buyer’s Guide 

7.   Quantitative Risk Analysis: What Companies Must Have First 

8.   Why Reactive Decision-Making Can Be Devastating and How to Improve It

Professional Development

9.   Improve ERM Engagement with this One Subtle Shift

10.  5 Key Personas of an Effective ERM Professional

11.  What a Calm Act of Heroism Can Teach Us about Risk Management

12.  Make Your Words Count: Translate Risk Terminology to Fit the Business

Within each of these posts, you should find links to other relevant articles on the blog that can be helpful.

Now that we’ve covered valuable resources you can find right here on my blog, below is a list of thought leaders and books that I’ve referenced, found helpful, or hope to read in the year ahead.

Risk Management Thought Leaders

13.   Norman Marks – considered a leader in risk management and audit, Norman’s blog provides helpful insights for ensuring risk professionals are not just helping their organizations avoid failure but achieve success in an increasingly volatile world. Norman is also the author of several books that you can find on his website.

14.   Hans Læssøe – former strategic risk manager for LEGO, Hans is also considered a pioneer of informed risk taking, strategic decision-making and quantitative risk analysis methods. His LinkedIn page contains recurring commentary or you can check out his consulting firm AKTUS and his two books, Prepare to Dare and Decide to Succeed.

15.   Julian Talbot – with over 3 decades of risk management and leadership experience, including at the director and executive level, Julian offers interesting perspectives/analogies on risk and broader issues facing the world today. You can visit his website or check out his numerous books on risk, leadership, travel, and more.

16.   Douglas Hubbard – considered a pioneer in quantitative risk analysis methods, Douglas is the creator of Applied Information Economics, a proven method for measuring the seemingly unmeasurable and thus providing organizations a competitive advantage. He is the author of five books, including The Failure of Risk Management and How to Measure of Anything.

17.   Warren Black – as an engineer, risk professional, and complex systems theorist, Warren works with a diverse range of stakeholders through his consulting firm Complexus to build governance, risk, and assurance practices suitable to the organization. Warren is also one of only a few risk professionals who have built an entire risk management and reporting framework from scratch.

You may have noticed that I regularly quote these individuals in posts to provide better illustration of points I’m trying to make.

Other Books Not Focused on Risk Management

Rounding out the Top 21 resources for 2021 are four other books risk professionals should consider. They are not specifically about ERM or even risk, but as I’ve previously explained, risk management goes way beyond just identifying threats and cataloging them.

These books will help you grow and deliver value to the organizations you serve by building out a well-rounded perspective.

18.   Moments of Impact by Chris Ertel and Lisa Kay Soloman – learn how you can design strategic conversations that ultimately solve challenges your company is facing. (What company isn’t facing challenges right now?)

19.   Consulting on the Inside by Beverly Scott and B. Kim Barnes – as I explain in a previous post, ERM should be viewed as an internal consulting team for executives and the Board.

20.   Executive Guide to Consultants by David Fields – if you or anyone in your company needs to bring in outside help for solving a challenge, this helpful guide will ensure you find the right consultant and achieve your goals.

21.   EQ Applied by Justin Bariso – emotional intelligence is an increasingly vital skill. This book can help you identify your emotional strengths and improve weaknesses to help you better connect with executives and peers.

Like the previous section on thought leaders, I’m always referencing books like these and often include short quotes to supplement my own writings.

Each of these books was featured on my 2020 reading list, but I feel the information and concepts they present warrant their inclusion here.  If you want to find out the book that tops my 2021 reading list, email me or send me a direct message on LinkedIn, and I will respond back with the answer…Hint: it addresses the number one skill set that employers are seeking right now.

Developing this list was a challenge considering the wealth of knowledge that’s available out there. This of course is a start…I highly recommend developing your own reference list using a tool like Trello or Pocket.

What resources do you refer to help you grow professionally and deliver value to your organization?

I’m always interested in what fellow risk professionals find engaging and informative. Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below or join the conversation on LinkedIn.

And if you feel an outside perspective is what’s needed to overcome any risk and strategy challenges in your organization, please don’t hesitate to reach out today for a brief exploratory call.

Wishing you all the best in 2021!

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