No company is immune from risk and uncertainty, and new approaches are needed to navigate risky environments. Creating a risk challenge culture should be a top priority. While ERM is certainly part of the solution and has been shown to create value, reduce volatility, minimize surprises, and lead to better decision making, even a perfect ERM process can't succeed without a risk challenge culture that supports it. Unfortunately, examples of a poor risk culture are abundant. Two of the most severe and expensive-both in dollars and human suffering-examples occurred in different parts of the planet, in entirely different industries, and in vastly different circumstances. Yet both had roots in the seemingly innocuous confines of organizational culture. By our describing these incidents in some detail here, you'll have a better idea of the true value of changing corporate culture to ensure that problems-no matter how inconsequential or highly unlikely they may seem at the time--are identified early and steps are taken to stop them from going further.
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