I’m sure plenty of family, friends, and associates have already told you, but Happy New Year!!
The holiday season is quickly fading in the rearview mirror as January is already feeling like a rocket, and we are all getting back to work.
While the past year maybe wasn’t quite as chaotic as the past two, it still had its fair share of both challenges and opportunities. This pattern shows no signs of slowing down or disappearing anytime soon.
Therefore, ERM professionals have to be at the ready to deliver critical insights to the Board, executives, and other company department leaders – critical insights that not only help their company avoid calamity, but also accomplish goals and succeed in an ever-increasingly complex world.
This is the core purpose of this blog…
It’s with this purpose in mind that we have developed a list of top resources at the beginning of each of the last five years. Each list is unique, which is why I always recommend reviewing lists from previous years depending on your current status. These lists can be found here – 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022.
If you go back and check any of these previous editions, you should notice how it has changed over the years. For example, outside of a few basics, this year’s list does not include anything on ERM process steps. If your program is in its early stages, you would be well-served by going back and reviewing previous year’s editions.
With that out of the way, below is my top must-read risk management (…and other) resources for 2023 broken down into different areas that I believe reflect where things currently stand and where they’re going. Please note that the following list is not exhaustive as there are many other sites and books I could have included.
Back to Basics
The articles and books listed below provide a great primer for helping others understand what ERM is and the function(s) it serves within an organization. For more on processes and other building blocks, I urge you to check out the previous editions linked above.
- 8 Ways Enterprise Risk Management is Different (…and better) than Traditional Risk Management – this article is a must-read for anyone new to ERM or needing to explain ERM to a business leader.
- 8 Possible Consequences of Not Being Proactive in Risk Management – updated in 2022, this article is also a great primer for helping company leaders and others understand the importance of effective risk management practices.
- 4 Steps to Building a Performance-Focused Risk Management Process (Step #2, Step #3, Step #4) – this 4-part series of guest articles provide a framework for building an ERM program focused on a company’s success rather than solely avoiding failure. While these articles were written for insurance carriers, the concepts are applicable to any organization in any industry.
- 5 Questions for Understanding the Fundamentals of Business Resiliency – if a company is going to survive and thrive in the years ahead, it will need to weather some pretty choppy waters. This article explores the fundamentals of why certain organizations stay around for the long haul (think 10, 20, 30 years).
- (Book) Enterprise Risk Management – Today’s Leading Research and Best Practices with contributions from various authors
Strategy, Planning and Execution
As you increasingly see mentioned here and elsewhere, the ultimate goal of ERM is not just help the company put out fires and avoid failure, but achieve strategic goals with some level of certainty. Below are few articles and books where you can learn more.
- 3 Underlying Components to Building a Successful Strategic Plan – without a solid foundation in place, any strategic plans are likely doomed. Learn the three essential components that must be in place before developing company goals.
- Project vs. Portfolio Management – Avoiding a Common Trap with Strategic Initiatives – with goals in hand, the company is ready to begin working on the projects and initiatives for achieving them, but without an “enterprise” view of these projects, many sadly end up failing.
- 5 Steps to Shifting Board Oversight from Operations and Risk to Strategy – Boards are increasingly expected to take an active oversight role, but many struggle to move to a more forward-looking approach.
- (Book) Resilient Organization – How to Survive, Thrive, and Create Opportunities through Crisis and Change by Erica Seville
- (Book) Strategic Impact: A Leader’s 3-Step Framework for the Customized Vital Strategic Plan by Carol Poore
- (Book) Strategic Risk Management: New Tools for Competitive Advantage in an Uncertain Age by Paul Godfrey, Emanual Lauria, John Bugalla, and Kristina Narvaez
Making informed decisions both quickly and effectively is essential in today’s world marked by chaos and radical change. While ERM is supposed to help a company improve this, many surveys indicate it is a struggle for most.
- 4 Simple Steps to a Speedy and Effective Decision – many mistakenly believe an elaborate ERM apparatus is needed before a company can start making better decisions, but as this article explains, all you really need are these four steps.
- Should We Still be Using the Term Risk Management? – this article gets into the controversial topic of whether the term “risk management” should be set aside and replaced with other phrase(s) that better convey the increasingly strategic nature of our role.
- (Book) Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
- (Book) Deciding: A Guide to Even Better Decision Making by Roger Estall and Grant Purdy
Risk Assessment and Analysis
Robust methods for assessing and prioritizing risks are needed in order to help company leaders and managers make better informed decisions. The resources below dive into quantitative-based approaches that can deliver better insights.
- Why Do Most Organizations Avoid Quantitative Risk Assessment? – many believe that only certain industries like banking are able to take advantage of a quantitative approach, but as we discuss in this article, there’s typically a more fundamental reason why companies avoid it.
- Another Baby Step in the Qualitative and Quantitative Risk Assessment Journey – recognizing the challenges in adopting new assessment methods, this article explores steps companies can take to start moving toward a more “quantitative” future.
- Why Quantitative Risk Assessment is Not Just the Best But the Only Option – A Conversation – in this discussion, Hans Læssøe explains his view of how quantitative methods are the only option for providing truly actionable insights to decision-makers.
- (Book) How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business by Douglas Hubbard
Tools and Skills
The final section of this year’s top resources list explores not just the tools, but the soft skills that are such a necessary ingredient of success.
- The Importance of the First Five Minutes of any Risk and Strategy Conversation – it’s the first few minutes of any conversation that will determine its outcome, which is why steps need to be taken to build trust, ask tough questions, and obtain the information needed.
- The Why, What, and How of ERM Software: A Buyer’s Guide – it may be hard to believe, but no other topic is more shrouded in mystery and confusion than procuring the best ERM software system for meeting the company’s needs. This comprehensive guide helps clear the fog.
- (Book) The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey
- (Article) Urgent and Important: It seems everything is now, Now, NOW!!! Whatever happened to important, Important, IMPORTANT? by Todd Herman
As I mentioned in the intro, this list is not exhaustive by any stretch of the imagination, which is why I strongly recommend checking out the previous versions linked above.
Lastly, as we turn the page into a new year, we’re eager to embrace the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. After all, as Strategic Decision Solutions supports our clients’ growth and maturity, we are maturing and growing as a company too!
Are there any other books, websites, or thought leaders you would recommend to fellow risk professionals?
Please don’t hesitate to share any resources you have found helpful in your ERM journey. As always, you can either leave a comment below or join the conversation on LinkedIn.
Also, if you’re not sure where to begin and feel your company could benefit with more hands-on guidance with strategic planning, decision-making, and risk management, please feel free to contact me directly or visit my online calendar today to schedule a meeting to discuss specific concerns and needs.
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Helping companies achieve their vision and strategy, and succeeding in today's turbulent world, is something I'm honored to be a part of. Whether you're an occasional blog visitor or a long-term client, thank you for letting us be a part of your journey.