risk management strategies

Each day seems to present more risk factors than we have ever had to consider in the past. As managers, we encounter risk in many areas: decisions about day-to-day business; growth plans for implementing new products or services; changes in policies or procedures; and even career decisions. To be a successful executive, one must be a very successful risk manager. The following are the thoughts about risk management strategies from some successful risk managers:

The Right People

“Minimize risk by hiring the right people to do the right thing. The right thing is something that makes life better for people, something of irrefutable value, something inspirational. The right people are smart, committed, strategic. How can you fail?” Karen Feinstein, President, Jewish Healthcare Foundation

“Seek the counsel of honest, bright people who are willing to tell you what you may not want to hear.” Ray Marano, Editor, Small Business News


The Right Information

“Be fully informed, act thoughtfully and act immediately; allowing a difficult situation to resolve itself over time only ensures that you’ll spend a lot more time managing the risk. Since risk exposure expands over time, trust your gut and respond as soon as you have the facts.” Barbara K. Mistick, Distinguished Service Professor, Carnegie Mellon University

“Managing risk depends on developing multiple sources of information about the environment in which you must work. The more information from a variety of people and places, the more likely your decisions will be appropriate. Having said that, I want to advocate for managing, but not totally avoiding, risk. Always choosing the “safe” course may not carry your organization where it needs to go!” Vicky Mroczek, Director, Ohio Office of Community Services


The Right Approach

“Every day I wake up and go to work is a day I take a risk. But for every calculated risk there is a reward. I try to be clear about both sides of the equation on a regular basis.” Anita Brattina, President, Direct Response Marketing, Inc.

“I minimize risk by managing it. I realize that growth in an organization only comes with risk-taking, so I reward the unexpected. I’d rather have someone have to explain to me why it didn’t work, than why he did nothing at all. The dynamics of business today can be compared to being in a football game. Stand still, and you are likely to be run over. You are safer trying to move forward than standing still. There is no safety in standing still and hoping for success.” Michael Glass, Director, Institute for Advanced Technology at Community College of Allegheny County  

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