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A new study released by the Altimeter Group helps companies identify, manage, mitigate and even prevent the risks that come with embracing social media.
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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.
When 33 Chilean miners were rescued after being trapped underground for 69 days, the world cheered. Here’s what your company can learn from key leadership decisions made during the mine cave-in crisis.
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.
Generating good innovation proposals from within the ranks of the organization is only the beginning. The more difficult part is creating a selection process that identifies which ideas to implement.
The Chicago Climate Action Plan aims to mitigate shocking forecasts that the northern city is on pace to end up with summers like those in the U.S.’s Deep South, with as many as 72 days over 90 degrees before the end of the century, up from an average of fewer than 15.
Finance professor Andrew Lo addresses “physics envy” among economists — and the importance of understanding the levels of uncertainty you face.
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.
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.
What should we make of the role of financial innovation in precipitating the financial crisis — and how might problems with risk management that the crisis revealed be addressed?
“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.
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