Risk Management

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Gaining a New Understanding of Risk

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  • Read Time: 3 min 

In these days of uncertain markets – and an uncertain economy – risk can seem almost omnipresent. But how do you manage risk prudently – yet still grow your company? Harvard Business School professor Robert S. Kaplan began exploring risk management in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, after he saw venerable firms such as Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns collapse – despite having risk management functions. Here are a few of his insights on the topic of risk management.

Image courtesy of Flickr user kenjonbro.

What Really Happened to Toyota?

Consumers were surprised in October 2009 by the first of a series of highly publicized recalls of Toyota vehicles in the United States. Citing a potential problem in which poorly placed or incorrect floor mats under the driver’s seat could lead to uncontrolled acceleration in a range of models, Toyota announced that it was recalling 3.8 million U.S. vehicles. The article discusses two root causes for Toyota’s quality problems.

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How to Manage Risk (After Risk Management Has Failed)

Over the past decade, a number of the world’s respected companies have collapsed. A factor was these companies’ approach to risk management. Two different views have evolved on how risk should be assessed. The first — the frequentist view — is based on historical data. The second, or Bayesian, considers risk to be in part a judgment of the observer. Many measures are being deployed to prevent future crises — a shift from frequentist to Bayesian risk management should be part of this effort.

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The Kind of Innovation to Pursue Now

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Innovation strategy expert Vijay Govindarajan thinks that businesses should be careful not to abandon innovation in their quest for efficiency and cost control during a recession — but they may need to reduce their focus on risky breakthrough innovation plans.

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Making Sustainability the Real Thing

Jeff Seabright, The Coca-Cola Company’s vice president of environment and water resources, explores how the beverage giant is moving to greater sustainability.

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The Reasons for Accidents

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  • Read Time: 1 min 

“If there are human operators in the system, they are most likely to be blamed for an accident,” writes MIT professor Nancy Leveson. She thinks traditional thinking about the causes of industrial accidents is limiting, in that the model used is that of chains of events leading back to the cause or the accident. A better model for today’s complex, automated systems: thinking of reasons why accidents occur rather than specific causes.

Showing 21-40 of 74