15 November 2003

Offense vs. Defense: The Risk Management Clock is Ticking

What side of the risk management game clock do you play on within your organization? A mix of both is a prudent way to hedge the losses yet the question becomes how much time on the corporate playing field is spent being proactive managing future risk.

A proactive and preventive risk approach requires a layered and active intelligence program. It requires dedicated resources and personnel spending a majority of their time scanning the horizon for new threats. It means spending more time saying "What if"? This will produce the next new thinking and strategy on what to do next to prevent a potential new loss.

Sitting in the audience this week listening to Ms. Frances Fragos Townsend was especially refreshing on this exact topic. She is the Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism, in the National Security Council. The comment that struck me the most was about getting out of consequence management mode into a risk management mode. The point she was making is so valid. Business is not spending enough time thinking ahead and over the horizon anymore. We need to be thinking where the next risk of loss will come from on a more active basis.

How many play minutes did your Board of Directors spend in the last meeting on dealing with consequences as opposed to the future. For a look at what your company and our globe is in for in the next two decades see Seven Revolutions Initiative. You have a tremendous amount of planning to do if you are going to be able to respond to the change ahead of us.

Survival in the year 2025 as a company in the healthcare industry might require a radical rethinking about where your profits will be coming from and what type of R&D you should be working on now. If you have children or grandchildren under the age of ten, the introduction of genetic medicines and therapies could help many of them live to be 120 years old - maybe older.

Survival in the year 2025 as a company in the financial services industry will require a mindset shift about the business you are really in. The accumulated wealth of the 225 richest individuals in the world is equivalent to the combined annual revenue of 2.7 billion people at the bottom of the global income ladder.

And what about conflict? More than 100 countries are believed to be seeking to develop offensive information warfare capabilities. About a dozen states now either possess or are actively pursuing offensive biological and chemical capabilities for use against their perceived enemies, whether internal or external. Over the next 25 years, it is expected that the lines between lawlessness, crime, disorder, terrorism and war will become increasingly blurred, challenging governments to the limits in terms of managing and containing threats.

How many offensive minutes did you spend with your team last month, last quarter or last year?

No comments:

Post a Comment