The world has learned the hard way over the past year that most companies have done a bad job of managing risk. And not only banks and investment firms. Accenture’s Global Risk Management Study found that executives at business enterprises across a wide range of industries believe overwhelmingly that they need to overhaul their approach to risk management.
To stave off future risk failures. To start with, every company needs to have one overarching approach to risk management, and it must align with the basic business strategy. Also, management must make a concerted effort to ensure that the right data regarding risk exposure reach the right people in a timely manner. This will enhance decision making, limit risk lapses and improve shareholder returns in the long term.
Essentially, better integration will help break down the barriers that have left business units to manage risk in isolation. The failure of those units to coordinate with one another and to communicate the true nature and scope of future risk exposure has deprived executive decision makers of the information they’ve needed to make informed choices.
The increasing cost of risk management is by itself reason enough to improve the process.
Beefing up a company’s risk-management capability isn’t easy. Getting it aligned with the overall business strategy, improving collaboration between business units, integrating processes and culture, and finding the resources and talent to do it all–all those challenges are difficult.
The economic downturn has been a powerful test of every company’s risk-management capability, but that testing has taught us all lessons we can use to create stronger, more integrated and better-aligned platforms for improving performance under all sorts of business conditions. Smart executives recognize that expanded, integrated risk-management programs supported by technology that allows management to monitor risk-related factors across a company are not just a defensive measure but a way to gain a clear competitive edge in an ever tougher world.