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New approach needed to ERM and managing risk? Thinking the Unthinkable

Angus Rhodes


I Just attended the inaugural AIRMIC ERM forum and  I found the first plenary speaker, Nik Gowing, was really thought provoking.

There were a number of key themes that he linked to some of the recent events we have seen. In a world where there is now a chaotic change agent in play, governments and corporations need to avoid complacency.

Conformity has now been shattered and there is no longer a normal, or more precisely, there is a new normal that is being formed. Whether triggered from the increasing anti-establishment sentiment or rise of new and evolving risks, such as cyber, mass immigration or a resurgent Russia, the pace of change is more akin to war time. A time when we all need to be thinking the unpalatable and really factoring the culture, mind set and behaviour into your strategy and decision making.

With this background, is your leadership struggling to have the capacity to respond?

  1. Overwhelmed by existing, multiple and intense pressures
  2. Ingrained institutional conformity
  3. Wilful blindness to the new situation
  4. Too much group/herd thinking
  5. An aversion to risk
  6. Keeping it safe and avoiding any Career Limiting Moves (CLMs)
  7. Relying on reactionary responses
  8. Just in denial
  9. General cognitive overload and dissonance

What wins the day is a willingness to have courage, humility and a safe space to encourage new thinking. Reach outside the normal decision makers sphere; seek new perspectives and get a pulse on the changing world. Reverse mentoring was explainedas a great way for experienced stakeholders to meet millennials and others within an organisation with less institutional conformity or thinking.

Be wise to consider new ideas, be bold to take different decisions and be visionary to take your organisation forward.

For more, read the report Thinking the Unthinkable


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Nov 17, 2016

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