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Shaking Up the Status Quo: Innovations in Risk Management

Chris de Wolf (Mars) and I got back together in April at the RIMS’16 conference for an overwhelmingly well-received session where we talked about transforming the risk function from a program to a business.

“Shaking up the Status Quo - Innovations in Risk Management” gave us the opportunity to tell the story of how we reinvented risk management - business continuity. Long story short: We were looking for a better way.

 

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History of Lootok: Where did it all start?

“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.” - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Lootok began at the end of my corporate consulting career ten years ago. The company I worked for was facing yet another management regime change, and I was at a point where I just could not take it and its inevitable political alliances, new taglines and mantras, unrealistic goals, and working 70 hours a week without recognition. We had a saying around the office: “The beatings shall continue until moral increases.” I finally called bull$%*& and starting saying and doing what I thought was right. It was my Jerry Maguire moment, and I was soon shown the door.

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Part V | Perception: we can control everything vs. Reality: we can only influence

Perception:

We Can Control Everything

Reality:

We Can Only Influence

We tend to believe the more control we have over something, the better. And why wouldn’t we? Control gives us predictability. It’s efficient. It stabilizes. It makes our lives easier and heck of a lot less stressful.

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Part IV | Perception: the risk manager’s job is to manage risk vs. Reality: to run a company

Perception:

The Risk Manager’s Job is to Manage Risk

Reality:

The Risk Managers Job is to Run a Company

If I had better foresight, maybe I could have improved things a little bit. But frankly, if I had perfect foresight, I would never have taken this job in the first place.
- Richard F. Syron

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Part III | Perception: it’s a paint-by-numbers vs. Reality: you paint it like pollock

Perception:

It’s a paint-by-numbers

Reality:

You paint it like Pollock

Before we do anything in our risk management planning, we need to make sure we understand the environments we work in. Everything we do should accommodate the attributes and characteristics of our environments.

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Part II | Perception: it’s like building a house vs. Reality: it’s like running a farm

Perception:

It’s like building a house

Reality:

It’s like running a farm

There are certain building blocks to any program, but how we approach risk management planning will inform our results from the start. Keeping an eye towards sustainability is key.

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Part I | Perception: people will believe vs. reality: people just don’t care

Perception:

People will believe

Reality:

People just don’t care

While there will be dozens of components to consider as we begin our risk management plan, the most vital is the people behind it. It can also be the most frustrating—people may not exactly be falling over themselves to volunteer for the team. Most people would agree that risk management is important, but there tends to be a lack of enthusiasm when it comes to building and implementation.

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