Risk

Living with uncertain futures as business do and unable to stop time, stand still and do nothing – there are things we all must / want to achieve, opportunities to exploit and changes to make to progress safely.

Businesses must serve their customers and owners, charities need to deliver change for their stakeholders, and we aspire for ourselves and those close to us to improve.

Despite good planning we are never sure how things will turn out. Risks in the real world and risks arising from our own actions or inactions can prevent us achieving our targets. These risks can lead to direct monetary loss; however, they may additionally lead to illness and or injury, damage to the environment, property, business failure, loss of employment or waste of human potential.

Risk management

There is a body of knowledge about risk and a selection of skills, tools and techniques we can apply to improve outcomes, regardless of the industry or sector, in a similar way to other professional disciplines such as accounting or human resource management.

This enables organisations to manage uncertainty, including new problems arising from changing circumstances. While it acknowledges that nothing in life is certain, the practice of systematic risk management should improve business resilience, increase predictability and contribute to improved returns and outcomes. Risk management is therefore about both helping an organisation achieve its objectives, as well as protecting its reputation and core business activities.

IIRSM believes that practical educational approaches to managing risk for all, and not purely for risk professionals and specialists, ensures that more people have the knowledge and competence to help their organisations avoid harm and maximise opportunities

Business continuity

Managing potential business issues helps organisations to recover from major disruption from fires, flu pandemics, extreme weather, terrorism, cyber-attacks or other business risks.

This is a holistic management approach identifying potential risks to your business and the impacts they can have in the event of major disruption to your operations. Risk management is concerned with risks facing an organisation, Continuity management addresses the continuity of operations across the business. Continuity management considers future plans and strategies, while risk management is concerned with threats to those business strategies and plans.

Continuity of central processes and resources are key components of continuity management, risk management is concerned with identifying, and where necessary, mitigating, risks associated with the business processes.

Resilience partnership

Three main areas of risk where business continuity planning can help with risk mitigation strategy: Risks faced by a business that may be unexpected, where the impact and/or probability is not easily predicted. Areas where significant or frequent disruption can be expected, should the risk materialise and the area/s where high levels of ongoing system complexity exist making risk outcomes difficult to predict.

Together with this, inter-related or interdependent risks, often quite simple, but taken together can create potentially disastrous outcomes.

Continuity management can provide the necessary resilience enabling the business to survive and recover from incidents caused.

Continuity management and risk management require some central controls regarding structure and policies, with embedded devolution, to address the practical implications.

Risk identification and assessment must be compiled with business impact analysis in developing a continuity management plan. The identification of business-critical activities and the recovery time in the event of disruption is key to business impact analysis but is equally important in understanding the risks facing businesses to develop the broader risk strategy.

Businesses are learning that risk management and business continuity planning are complimentary, close integration between the two is important.

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