Global convention call for more positive and forward looking approaches to risk management

Risk managers told to embrace supply chains and focus more on supporting decision making, turning customers' challenges into business opportunities and creating a better future.
By: Policy Publications
Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas
Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas
PETERBOROUGH, U.K. - Feb. 25, 2017 - PRLog -- Risk is too important to be left to a few professionals in a head office environment, according to Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas, author of Winning Companies; Winning People. Speaking at the 2017 Global Convention on Corporate Ethics and Risk Management he told business leaders: "Too often people in the front-line who are closest to customers, operations and emerging issues leave the identification, assessment and addressing of risks to central specialists. Risk needs to be seen as an aspect of a much wider range of roles from the bottom to the top of an organisation."

Presenting conclusions and recommendations at the end of the two day event, Coulson-Thomas presented risk management as a necessary life skill: "Acknowledgement and understanding of ethics and risk should be an integral element of school education. It should have an important place in the curriculum of business studies and business school courses. It should be an integral element of the preparation of the members of most if not all professions."

He continued: "We need to avoid the negative portrayal of risk as a problem. Risk should be viewed positively. It should be seen as an aspect of life, as an essential element of entrepreneurship and as an enabler and an arena of opportunity. Risk management is more than avoiding downsides, costs and losses. It is about creating a better future. We need to look at what we can do to help customers and others to cope with risks they face and so turn their challenges into business opportunities."

"Risk is not just for business and management practitioners and professionals. Assessing risk is important for engineers, medical practitioners and many other professionals. Their instincts and approaches may be more relevant to issues currently faced by boards than those of risk management professionals using approaches developed when different priorities and business models applied."

The Professor suggested risk management and risk managers need to change: "Risk management needs to embrace supply chains, customer aspirations and networks of relationships. It needs to be forward looking and concerned with the support of decision making and creating a safer and more secure and sustainable future. It needs to offer affordable, timely and practical advice and solutions. When there are narrow and shortening windows of opportunity, there may be little point suggesting a multi-year transformation or culture change programme. Requirements and a business model may change long before it is implemented. Living, adaptive and flexible approaches are required."

Drawing upon findings from his recent research reports Transforming Knowledge Management, Talent Management 2 and Transforming Public Services Coulson-Thomas argued: "Opportunities should be explored for using personalised performance support to make ethical and risk guidance available on a 24/7 basis whenever and wherever required, including when people are on the move. If behaviour change is required, one should use levers that can be quickly operated such as changing a pay plan or updating the performance support that makes it easy to do the right thing and difficult to do the wrong thing."

He continued: "We need to recognise the reality of threats we face in areas such as cyber-security and that collaboration can be more effective than operating alone. Sharing an experience with ones peers and law enforcement agencies can increase understanding of the threat environment and improve planning of counter measures."

"Compliance with outdated requirements can leave the door open to new risks. We must play our part in addressing future applications of disruptive technologies. For example, we should take steps now to anticipate the risks associated with various adoptions of block-chain technology and consider possible next steps."

"To innovate we need to be open to discussion, debate and new developments. Rather than unthinkingly apply a standard approach we need to encourage greater diversity and be prepared to simultaneously explore a number of different solutions. If risk managers want acceptance as a recognised profession they much accept and discharge the responsibilities this involves, for example to protect the public as well as members."

The 2017 Global Convention on Corporate Ethics and Risk Management was held at the Bombay Stock Exchange, Mumbai, India. Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas, author of Winning Companies; Winning People, Developing Directors and three reports on cheaper, quicker and more affordable approaches to high performance, has helped directors in over 40 countries to improve board and corporate performance. Author of over 60 books and reports he has served on corporate boards and local and national UK public sector boards, and currently has a portfolio of international leadership roles. His latest books and reports can be obtained from

Policy Publications / Colin Coulson-Thomas
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