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Some directors and boards and some governance, compliance and risk management practices have become a “hinder” rather than a “help”, In particular, the risk management community needs to review its role, contribution and professionalism.

The perspectives of some risk managers need to broaden to embrace networks, supply and value chains and a wider range of stakeholders. A socially responsible company should also be concerned about risks affecting communities and the environment, especially those resulting from its own activities and actions. Helping others to cope could be a business opportunity.

Contemporary risk management needs to be less of a compliance and overhead cost and more of an enabler of innovation and entrepreneurship. Risk management professionals should become more of a partner in innovation and more of a positive contributor of value.

Risk managers should look beyond the reporting of risks, and contribute more to dealing with them and identifying and exploiting related opportunities. They should also focus on the support of decision making. They must move on from giving advice on how to prevent downsides and also roll up their sleeves and help their colleagues to achieve upsides.

Responsible risk taking is essential for innovation. Encountering risk is evidence that one is alive and trying to accomplish something. Governance, compliance and risk management frameworks need to become continually adapting and learning systems.

Applications of performance support can rapidly improve outcomes, ensure compliance, reduce and contain risk, and deliver a variety of other improvements. Incorporating checks and blockers into support tools can prevent outputs that would represent commercial, quality, legal or regulatory risks and enable bespoke responses.

Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas delivered the opening keynote address at RIMS ERM Conference 2017 in Los Angeles, California, USA, Details of his evidence based research reports on quicker, more affordable and less disruptive ways of increasing performance and productivity while simultaneously controlling risk, ensuring compliance, enabling innovation and achieving a range of other objectives can be obtained from Policy Publications:

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