The pandemic crisis has introduced a whole host of never-before-seen risks that are critical to the reputation and brand of an organization. Because the risks are new, organizations have little, if any, prior data about those risks. For organizations that prefer basing decisions on detailed quantifiable data, not having the ability to conduct extensive quantitative analyses of those risks can be challenging and sometimes paralyzing.
Recently, Bruce Branson, Associate Director of the ERM Initiative at NC State University interviewed Bobby Thomas, Senior Manager, US Risk Management at AFLAC, about how the ERM function helps simplify management’s consideration of harder-to-measure, qualitative issues. Bobby talks about how risks such as brand and reputation, HR and other talent risks are difficult to quantify and model but are critically important to the sustainable well-being of the company. He stresses the importance of providing clear criteria for assessing these types of risks (e.g., what’s minor, major, or catastrophic) and tying those assessments to financial results. Most critically, Bobby emphasizes the importance of the conversation that results from the assessment of these types of risks and the need to be willing to adjust findings as a result of these conversations.
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