How to Leverage ERM Principles to Better Respond to COVID-19-related Risks

This post first appeared on NC State University. Read the original article.

The novel coronavirus is providing a catastrophic lesson on how critical it is for business leaders to come together to share information about the different kinds of risks being triggered by this single root cause event. No single risk associated with the COVID-19 pandemic crisis can be managed in isolation given there is an interconnected aspect to these risks and how organizations can address them.We are convinced that many of the core principles foundational to enterprise risk management (ERM) can help inform and guide executives through the difficult task of managing risks triggered by COVID-19. To assist business leaders in navigating this tremendous risk management challenge, the ERM Initiative has developed this thought paper, How to Leverage ERM Principles to Better Respond to COVID-19-Related Risks, to outline how ERM thinking can help navigate the multitude of enterprise-wide risks triggered by the unfolding crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The thought paper provides an overview of how key ERM principles might help guide thinking about risks triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.  It focuses on two timeframes associated with the crisis:

  1. Dealing with the Crisis Right Now – The Here and Now
  2. Assessing the Damage and Rebuilding for the Future

Entities are engaged in enterprise risk management processes right now without realizing it as they navigate the COVID-19 crisis.  They are bringing individuals from across the organization together to think about how emerging risks are impacting all aspects of their business.  They are engaged in face-to-face conversations (hopefully virtually) about risks to their business and they are working together to close gaps or holes in that process so that they can survive this crisis.  They are testing systems to understand their reliability and they are thinking about the “what ifs” to various scenarios.  It is our hope that this thought paper, How to Leverage ERM Principles to Better Respond to COVID-19-Related Risks, can help business leaders structure the approaches they are taking to identify, prioritize, manage, and monitor the ever-changing nature of the risks triggered by this significant global event.
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