Risk managers need to step up

By Eamonn Cunningham
President, RIMS Australasia

We live in challenging times with a multitude of threats both present and waiting on the horizon. It is a time for Risk Management as a profession to display how it can assist enterprises to confront the unprecedented level of risk within the backdrop of a complex commercial environment.


What an opportunity exists for Risk Managers of calibre to demonstrate value to their organisation? Is there some magical formula here or newfound modus operandi? No there is not. It’s just simple basic risk management that is needed here with one new element. It’s a personal thing that is not often practiced as it is sometimes seen as perhaps counter intuitive to the way risk mangers normally act. It is the need to be brave enough to speak up when your very instinct tells you that is what is required. Invariably risk managers do their jobs very well, but on occasion when it is vital that they speak up, many hit the pause button.

So, the appeal to you, using the catchcry of Laura Langone, the 2020 RIMS President, is ‘Dare to be different’. To the risk managers out there, dare to be brave, have the personal courage of your convictions and say it when it needs to be said. Are the stakes high? Yes absolutely, not only for you but also the enterprise you work for. It is difficult to get the message across to the right ear? Yes, but that is not a good enough reason to stay silent. Take comfort in the fact that you do your work well and therefore fundamentally back yourself and your ability.

In these challenging times where risk emerge from all directions at an increasing pace, the task of being heard may well be easier than you think.

Here is an article I contributed to and published in February 2020 by StrategicRISK Europe entitled how risk managers are preparing for the possibility of a recession. This is just one example of the type of areas that Risk Managers need to venture into and speak about.