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Risk or resilience? Airmic stirs up a debate

Airmic technical director, Paul Hopkin, has started a debate about whether risk managers should be rebranded as resilience managers.

In the latest Airmic newsletter, Mr. Hopkin says that working on Airmic’s latest research report, ‘Roads to Resilience,’ has encouraged him to consider how risk and resilience management fit together. He noted that a small number of organizations have recently advertised for ‘Heads of Resilience’, whose job descriptions approximate to what one might normally expect of a Chief Risk Officer.

‘Roads to Resilience’ is due out later this year, and is intended as something for risk managers and their boards to consider.

“Resilience is a key board responsibility and, as we know only too well, some boards do not take it as seriously as they should. In the eight case studies in our report where things have gone right there has been someone with risk management responsibilities who has been head of resilience in all but name,” says Hopkin.

Hopkin believes that risk managers should focus on the benefits of resilience, getting away from "constant emphasis on the negative impact of risk". It may only be a change of word, but Hopkin believes the different focus and perspective will result in a less theoretical, more results-oriented outlook; it will help Airmic members to contribute more within their organizations and move up the value chain.

“Of course technical risk management skills will always be essential, but they should be a given. You automatically assume that they will deliver results. Our mind-set should be about delivering fundamental benefits as well. And resilience is what all Airmic members, no matter what their role, bring to their organizations,” he says.




On this subject I would recommend the article by Charley Newnham ‘Why Resilience is not the future of Business Continuity’ (2012). Perhaps her considerations are also useful in this debate.

[Read at: BCM 2012 papers: http://www.bcm2013.com/papers/StreamC/1CharleyNewnham.pdf]

Dr. sc. ETH Markus Hohl
Risk Analysis and Research Coordination
Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport
Federal Office for Civil Protection
, Switzerland

•Date: 4th October 2013 • UK •Type: Article • Topic: Enterprise risk management

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