PreView-ing Today’s Emerging Risks

By
Cory Gunderson and Jim DeLoach

We want to share a heads up with you regarding a new Protiviti newsletter that we’re very excited about. We’ve just published the first edition of PreView, which will be a quarterly review of emerging risks likely to have a strategic impact on organizations over the long term. Our focus in issuing PreView is on helping organizations ask the right questions rather than provide answers. Therefore, we hope that PreView will prompt thought and dialogue within organizations.

We are big fans of the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Risks Study in offering far-reaching perspectives for the long term for company executives and policymakers to consider. In PreView, we root our evaluation framework for emerging risks in the annual WEF reporting, which we like because each WEF periodic refresh provides rich, thought-provoking input into the likely mega trends expected over the next 10+ years. It is a great tool for stimulating truly long-term thinking for directors and executives in virtually any industry. Over time, we’re confident that Protiviti’s PreView will offer a useful perspective for board members and C-suite executives, providing yet another source of input for them to consider risks that are evolving in the marketplace.

Effective risk management requires companies to understand more about what they don’t know than what they do know. Emerging risks are those risks that are beginning to surface and could smolder over time before affecting an organization. They are often the result of macro-level changes in the business environment. Left unaddressed over the long-term, they can alter the assumptions underlying corporate strategies and could have a long-term impact that directors and executives might regard as “unthinkable” today. Therefore, we see these risks as distinctly different from risks that have been previously identified and present a focal point for current risk management capabilities.

We realize that the implications of emerging risks may not be fully understood at the present time even though we know they’re on the radar, and hence, comprehensive risk management options to assess, quantify, monitor and develop response plans are difficult for organizations to design and implement today. In fact, many emerging risks may warrant a strategic response, meaning the monitoring of vital signs in the environment and possibly making adjustments to the corporate strategy over time.

We hope this PreView newsletter serves as a thought-provoking piece in organizations’ consideration of emerging risks, particularly those risks that may have a direct impact on them, as businesses undertake steps to evolve and adapt progressive risk management practices.

To read the newsletter and to continue the conversation about emerging risks, we invite you to visit our Emerging Risks site (www.protiviti.com/emergingrisks). As you will note, we’re trying to make PreView easy to read, and that means we selected a few risk issues to discuss and kept the discussion crisp rather than list everything we could think of. If you’re familiar with some of these issues, please comment on them here. If you have other issues you think we should explore, please raise them or any questions you have here.

The world is a complex place and our crystal ball is just as foggy as everyone else’s. But we hope to initiate and sustain a dialogue regarding emerging risks through quarterly issues of PreView and periodic entries in this blog over time.

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