Manage The Unexpected

Has our culture become more violent? Is news more readily available to us it appears horrific incidents occur more frequently? Surely fodder for debate. What cannot be argued, however, is the need for preparedness. Emergency plans should be in place, communication policies should be developed, frequently reviewed and updated, and a strategy should be developed to manage the unexpected.

While an effective Enterprise Risk Management framework offers a wide variety of benefits to a school or business, no manner of audit or extensive risk management planning can predict an unforeseen event. And if something occurs, the court of public opinion will judge the actions of senior management taken during the event, then again by the actions taken in the aftermath during the inevitable media onslaught that will ensue.

This topic is the elephant in the room. The mindset of, “that sort of thing is unlikely to happen here” (I heard that once) is antique and dangerous.

In addition to identifying risks within your organization during extensive risk assessment sessions, Banyan Risk Management Consulting conducts each session with an eye toward potential audit issues. Many times during risk assessment sessions, weaknesses in established processes are identified, issues with data or physical security are discussed, as well as a myriad of other topics. If the same topic is brought to light in several risk assessment sessions across different departments, it is likely a problem exists.

While no empirical evidence of an audit issue is obtained during risk assessment sessions, Banyan Risk Management Consulting provides written documentation to senior management for their consideration, explaining the nature of the topics discussed.

Do you have an effective emergency plan in place? Is it tested? Do you have a communication policy in place? Is it reviewed and updated regularly? Who will address the media if an unforeseen event occurs? Are all employees instructed to refer the media to a central source for information? These and many other questions are posed when establishing an Enterprise Risk Management framework.

Protect your reputation – it is your most important asset.

The link below is the report of the review panel on the tragic events at Virginia Tech in 2007. Hundreds of lessons can be learned from the information contained in this report.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/metro/documents/vatechreport.pdf

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