The World Economic Forum released a report on global risks to watch in 2011. You can find it here.
I believe this is a helpful list of risks affecting the global economy – for organizations to reflect on how these issues might affect them. I would not recommend it for any other purpose.
My top ten risks (not in any order) are not nearly as exciting as floods and famine:
- The inability to practice effective risk management, enabling risk-intelligent decisions, strategies, and actions. What can you conclude when only 12% of global companies of size have a CRO?
- Failing to understand the velocity of risks, and being surprised because you only look for and consider risks every three or six months instead of managing risk at the speed of business
- Complacency by risk officers and executives – “our risk management is fine” and “we survived the last crisis so no changes are necessary”
- Being so risk-averse (due to regulatory influences, for example) that the organization fails to optimize performance
- Continuing to take risks you don’t understand (think derivatives or doing business in an emerging nation)
- Focusing on the risk of new technology (such as social media) but not leveraging it to full advantage
- Racing to leverage the benefits of technology without sufficient up-front attention to risk
- Failing to ensure the information necessary to run the business (including risk management) is timely, current, reliable, and complete – and in the hands of the people who need it
- Failing to understand that technology is changing how people live and work – and failing to adapt the business model, processes, practices, etc.
- Business as usual