The Boards “GPS” for Better Corporate Governance: The Value of ERM

Written by: Michael Yip

YOU FIND YOURSELF in a foreign city wandering around aimlessly looking for a particular location. You have no paper map and the rushing fear of feeling lost is slowly coming over you. Does this scenario sound familiar? I trust that even the most prepared travelers have encountered this uneasy feeling at least once in their lifetime. Today, I suspect the automatic reaction would be to reach into one’s pocket, pull out a smartphone and either pull up a map online or access a GPS application. In mere minutes, you can refer to a treasure trove of data that will help in guiding you to your destination by safely navigating through the network of unknown streets. Now, imagine yourself at the helm of a company (be it a private or publically traded company). What do you do when you find yourself in a situation that is unfamiliar, foreign to you on so many levels? Do you charge ahead blindly? This is the fundamental question that I want to explore in the ongoing debate of the value of strategic planning and the role of enterprise risk management (ERM), as I seek and attempt to demystify ERM and its relevance and impact to help drive long term strategy. Now, I want to introduce an additional dimension, which is governance. By its very definition, governance is like a company’s consciousness. So let’s revisit my opening example. When you feel lost, do you charge ahead blindly? What goes through one’s head to facilitate such a decision? What governs your decision making process to move forward?


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