Managing risk is something all businesses and organisations have to do. It is rarely an optional nice-to-have. Yet in all the senior roles I have had, I continue to be surprised by how silo-driven many risk assessments are. Individual weaknesses and threats are identified and a series of mitigations are listed, but very rarely is a strategic approach taken. Yet the sheer connectedness and interdependence of systems means that the focus on an individual risk without recognising its collateral impact on others is likely to make those mitigations futile and insufficient. The risk landscape must be looked as a whole. To put it simply what is required is Strategic Risk Management.
That is why I believe that this Institute can make such a huge contribution by promoting good practice in the field, by raising skills, by sharing information and expertise, and above all by promoting the highest level of professionalism in the strategic management of security and risk.
I am immensely proud to have been invited to be President of the ISRM and I look forward to our journey together to make not only our respective organisations better able to respond in a strategic way to the threats and risks they face, but in so doing foster greater societal resilience and ensure that our communities are safer and more secure.
The Institute of Strategic Risk Management has been established in order to create a global centre where practitioners, academics and policy makers can come together to share information, help progress and promote the underlying understanding and capabilities associated with strategic risk and crisis management, and develop their own personal and professional networks.
If you are reading this, the likelihood is that you are involved in some sort of security, risk or crisis management role. As such, you will be aware that the scale, range and nature of the emergent threats that the world is facing are changing at a pace that seems to be leaving behind our ability to model, prepare for or respond to the high-impact events that are becoming ever more common.
It is the belief of the Institute of Strategic Risk Management that there is a need for a forum where senior practitioners, academics and strategic policy makers can come together in order to truly understand the nature of the complex threats of the modern world, and to explore the issues surrounding the development of the range of multiple-stakeholder frameworks, policies and capabilities that will be necessary in order to face up to and successfully engage with them.
It is a sad fact that even at the highest level of strategic risk and crisis management, whether in corporate, government or other sectors, there is a lack of awareness of the huge amount of academic work that has been done around many of the critical issues that are central to the challenges that we are facing today, whether it is in terms of command and control, multi agency integration, communications and information exchange, critical decision-making, training and exercising or the fundamental paradigm change from agency-led crisis management to community-based resilience.
At the same time, the ISRM is aware of the vast numbers of people across the world who are being given responsibility for increasingly complex risk, resilience, business continuity, emergency response and crisis management operations, and for which they often feel they have not been given the appropriate level of preparation or support. For all of these people too, the ISRM is committed to providing a natural home where experiences can be compared, personal and professional development can be supported and friendships can be made.
Overall, our objective is that the ISRM will be an institution where there will be the feeling of being part of a global community, all focused on the same objectives – understanding how we can create safety and security for the organisations we are involved in, as well as for the wider society that we are all a part of.
The ISRM offers you an opportunity to take part in world class training, gain formal qualifications, enjoy social events, develop professional networks and, if you wish to do so, to take an active part in developing and supporting the ISRM wherever in the world you are. We are always happy to hear your ideas on how the ISRM can be made better, so feel free to let us know, either at a regional level or through the London HQ.