March 2018
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Goats and Heroes in the World of Plane Crashes

You can’t stop bad things happening, but you can influence how they look

Two aircraft final accident reports came out this week and the glaring difference between them was how they played in the press.

The obvious differences were easy. The first involved one aircraft, the other three – the former being the January 2008 crash of British [...]

Meet The Hurricane Appropriately Named Bill

What can the hurricane season – and region – teach the rest of us?

Hurricane season is back and its first storm, Bill, is brewing up in the Atlantic. Hurricanes vary in strength and the preparedness of countries and their states can vary even more. The potential costs are enormous, and while previous losses can foster change, [...]

Give Your Customers What They Want

 Somewhere up there, Peter Drucker is smiling
Rolls-Royce aircraft engines is avoiding the worst of the slump thanks to a change in strategy that has diversified them away from an over-reliance on commercial aviation. Risk management starts at the strategic level and Rolls-Royce prepared for this recession years ago.
One of their tactics has been to increase their [...]

Turning Risks into Advantages

Tesco and Solid Waste
Corporate social responsibility might not be quite as hot a buzzword as it was a few years ago, but the concept is still with us and focus has shifted to its components. How firms manage their CSR image varies widely, but few do quite as well as the British supermarket chain Tesco.
Turning risks into strengths [...]

Managing Political Risk in High-Risk Countries

Keeping a low profile is not always enough

Iran has forced a German company, Knauf Gips KG, to issue a letter threatening to dismiss any employee that participates in protests against the Iranian government. The firm says it issued the letter in order to secure the release of an employee, a dual German-Iranian citizen, who was arrested [...]

Case - Assessing Supplier Risk

Assessing Vulnerability vs. Probability

A small technology company was on the verge of major success. They had created a superb product that outclassed the competition. A prestigious customer had placed a major order. The order had been big enough to fund the establishment of supply networks and start production without the need to raise more capital. The [...]

Case – Hiding in Plain Sight

A distributor suffered constant theft from their facility, primarily due to their location in a high-crime area. The thieves were always one step ahead, evading cameras, dogs, and intrusion detection systems. They seemed capable breaching every barrier and penetrating any lock.

The losses were a significant cost and becoming unsustainable. The distributor considered moving, but the facility was [...]

Case – “Unpredicted, Yes. Unexpected, No.”

Communicating bad news is hard and it pays to do it well. There are some who argue that you cannot judge a manager or a firm by what they do when times are good, but only by how they manage when times are bad.

Many of the managers that were good at getting flattering profiles in the [...]

Case – Failing To Plan For Stormy Weather

An American steel firm bought an East German steel mill a few years after German reunification. The German plant was small, specialized in the same market niche, and fit the firm’s plan to expand into Europe. The market, however, did not develop as predicted, the plant was less efficient than expected, and soon they needed to [...]

Case – Probability vs. Vulnerability (Processes)

At the prompting of their board, a small investment company managing a large amount of money hired a consultant firm to review their processes. The consultants immediately uncovered that there were no formal processes, nor a concern about their absence. The dozen or so employees knew their jobs, knew who was responsible [...]