Survey: Companies Now More Focused on Risk Management

Optimists are known for saying, "Every cloud has a silver lining," and now, new survey results indicate that, at least with regard to the recession, they may be right.

The July 2010 Korn/Ferry Executive Quiz, which polled senior executives and board members from across the world, shows that in the aftermath of the recession and multiple high-profile financial meltdowns, many organizations are approaching risk differently. In fact, they're now actively identifying and addressing their own risk management issues more than ever before.

For example:

59 percent of executives who participated in the survey believe that the recent scrutiny on corporate reputation risk has had a positive effect on their Board's view of reputation management and crisis preparedness. Only 28 percent said that the increased attention on risk management has had no effect.

More than half (58 percent) of those polled believe that their company has improved the quality and timeliness of internal oversight and reporting to the Board to better assist in risk management and planning.

The majority (57 percent) reported that directors and executives are spending more time dealing with risk management. 26 percent said there had been no change at all, and 14 percent revealed that their company is actually spending less time on risk management.

Interestingly, 60 percent of those surveyed do not believe that increased government oversight had been a driver for improving risk management at their organizations.

While 20 percent of organizations have a Chief Risk Officer, many of the executives in the poll noted that the direct responsibility for risk management at their organizations starts at the top. 43 percent identified the Chief Executive Officer as directly responsible, and 19 percent gave that responsibility to the Chief Operating Officer.

To me, these results illustrate just how hard the recession and recent high-profile collapses within the financial sector hit organizations worldwide. Most companies that I talk to were forced to reassess their risk profiles and then implement new risk management strategies although I do find it worrisome that a full 40 percent of those in this particular survey said they either haven't changed the time spent dealing with risk management or are actually spending less time than before. Surely, companies that have successfully improved their risk management systems will find themselves better positioned to take advantage of opportunities that surface as the economy begins to rebound.

More results from the survey are available here.

TAGS: Finance
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