May. 27, 2014

Worried about managing a company crisis? Take these proactive steps
As much as we try our best to prepare for the unexpected it is impossible to plan for all the contingences that could strike a business, especially a startup. Kraft Foods found this out last summer when it launched its rainbow cookie campaign in support of Gay Pride month. It was not well-received. There was an uproar and the back peddling required to exit that nightmare had to be on point and swift. It was, and Kraft, thus the Oreo, survived the day nicely. Even if you cannot predict the crisis or when it will strike, you can preplan for one. Kraft bounced back quickly and decisively, and you can, too. The following steps will help you bring structure, organization and calm during a crisis.More

Organizations not ready for risks from 3rd-party vendor partners
Information Management
Organizations are not adequately addressing IT and security risks that emerge from outsourcing and partnering with third-party vendors, according to a new survey by consulting firm Protiviti and Shared Assessments Program, a community of risk management professionals. Despite the many standards and regulations in the business environment today and the need for increased vigilance due to highly publicized data breaches and cyber threats, the study found that companies lack mature vendor risk-management practices and don't have the necessary resources and staff to meet best practice standards. More

Firms revamping employee wellness programs
Modern Healthcare
A growing number of U.S. employers have implemented wellness programs with a goal of improving employee health and productivity and reducing healthcare costs. While such programs have been used by most large companies over the past decade, they have spread to smaller firms, driven by employers' desire to lower the cost of their health plans and avoid the 40 percent excise tax starting in 2018 on high-cost plans under the healthcare reform law. Companies also have been persuaded to launch wellness programs by marketing from the burgeoning industry of wellness providers. But experts question these programs' effectiveness in improving health and reducing costs, and some employers are rethinking their approach.More

Travelers identifies top concerns for American businesses
American businesses large and small say medical cost inflation, legal liabilities and technology risks are among their top concerns, according to the baseline findings of a new annual Business Risk Index from Travelers. The survey polled more than 1,100 business decision makers to better understand what they believe poses the biggest threat to their business. Many leaders said the risks they identified as their biggest concerns are also the issues their business is least prepared to address.More

Do we need a revolution in management?
"Do we need a revolution?" ask Clayton Christensen and Derek van Bever in the June 2014 Harvard Business Review. When "the world's most influential business thinker" calls for a revolution, maybe we should pay attention. One immediate question: Is the needed revolution about acquiring new tools or new management mindsets? New tools applied with existing mindsets risk leading to more of the same. In fact, could applying new mindsets to the existing tools go a long way to the revolution that the HBR article is talking about?More

When the chain breaks
CFO Magazine
Three years ago, Mother Nature struck Asia with a savage one-two punch: a devastating earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan, followed a few months later by catastrophic flooding in Thailand. The deadly disasters had a ripple effect on American supply chains, disrupting the flow of components from Japanese and Thai suppliers, particularly in the automobile and electronics industries. That, in turn, delivered an expensive blow to the U.S. insurance industry, via its provision of contingent business interruption coverage.More

3 tips to better risk management
While the question of money management may seem fairly straightforward, it remains the most critical component of any trading plan. Before placing a trade, traders should examine exactly what the risks associated with that trade. More

Religious garb and grooming in the workplace
New Hampshire Business Review
Q: Dalip is an observant Sikh who wears a turban, or dastar, as part of his religious beliefs. A few days after Dalip was hired at a bank, the manager began receiving complaints from customers who felt "uncomfortable" approaching him. In an effort to resolve these issues, the manager decides to ask Dalip to either remove his turban at work or take a position in which he spends most of his time on the phone. Can John do this?More

Crisis management: Get the boss involved before it's too late
We all know them: car manufacturers flunking a recall; oil companies mismanaging a major accident; governments botching website launches; airline operations melting down while merging; chemical companies polluting drinking water ... and so the list goes on. When these situations seem entirely predictable and manageable, why do large and otherwise successful organizations get it so wrong?More

Social media policy and governance: 17 tips to mitigate social business risk
Business 2 Community
It's no surprise that many brands hold out on joining the social networks because of fear of risk. The truth is that there is no opt-out of social media. Your clients, prospects, employees and broader community are on the social networks regardless if you are or not. Social media will reveal your organization from the inside out. Empowering your employees is a must so that you can shine the best you possible. Ignoring social media is not going to make it go away and it will increase your risk of a future problem or crisis more than it will help.More

Are emerging market equities finally catching up?
Investors may have fallen out of love with emerging markets but some economists say the tide is turning as EM stocks catch up with developed market peers. April was the first month in over a year in which emerging-market-focused exchange traded funds and mutual funds saw inflows, Capital Economics said. Funds offering exposure to the entire region rather than specific countries attracted the most money. As a result year-to-date returns for EMs and developed markets are broadly equal.More

Execs embracing operational risk importance
ABA Banking Journal
Large financial institutions are continuing to make strides in increasing recognition of operational risk among the board and C-level executives, according to a new survey report released by KPMG and the Risk Management Association. However, the survey also points to opportunities to improve the alignment of operational risk management with business strategy, and to more effectively deploy operational risk stature and appetite across all levels of the enterprise.More