Rob de Jonge, EMEA leader of Marsh Risk Consulting, shares his insights into this year’s Risk Report

Global interconnectivity is placing an increasing strain on the systems we have relied upon for many years, highlighting their inadequacies at best, or at worst, resulting in their systematic failure.

Existing systems provide us with clarity on accountability but when the systems are not interconnected, this accountability is missing. The current challenges faced by the Euro fiscal system is a prime example of this.

Uncertainty heightens risk for organisations and threatens their ability to achieve their business objectives. Although governance systems are still useful for issues we can control, external risks are best dealt with by assessing the various threats which they pose.

Scenario planning, a technique traditionally used in business to support optimal decision making, can now be used for defensive pessimism, ‘or preparing for the worst’.

The new crisis management standard (PAS 200:2011) provides organisations with guidance and good practice in dealing with these risks. It helps organisations to take practical steps to improve their ability to deal with crises and to provide tools to prepare and survive.

Corporate preparedness as a concept is fast becoming a viable alternative to introduce control and accountability where this was previously lacking. It allows organisations to respond quicker, so they can outperform their competition.

It also provides organisations with the opportunity to communicate proactively, both internally and externally, as the perception of being unable to deal with a crisis professionally is now a significant risk to a company’s reputation.