Professor Andrew Chambers-World’s First Professor of Internal Audit, Author of the Chambers Handbook of Governance and Former Dean of Cass Business School and Advisor to the House of Lords shares insights into how to succeed in turbulent times and why executives should attend TEXEM, UK’s forthcoming programme slated to hold between March 10-11 in this interview.
Many companies, public sector parastatals and other organisations are finding the pandemic is giving them new opportunities to prosper, while others risk collapse. To exploit the new opportunities, outperform rivals, and mitigate the downside risks, require excellent risk management and a heightened emphasis on quality leadership.
How can I plan long term when the future is so uncertain, and I have no idea what will happen next week, let alone several years out?
It has always been the case that the only certainty about the future is that the future is uncertain. It is not just COVID—19, which poses challenges: the pace of technological change is just as challenging. We may not be able to identify the particular future happenings which will be opportunities or threats. Still, we should certainly try our best to define possible future scenarios caused by whatever opportunities or threats that may occur. And then satisfy ourselves that we could exploit those opportunities or mitigate those threats should they occur for whatever cause. And we may be able to engineer that the opportunities do occur and the threats are avoided.
How can organisations outperform their peers and develop success that endures in this increasingly risky world?
By managing change well. By developing your core competence and knowing what is your competitive advantage. By not becoming too set in our ways as organisations. By having an open, empathetic, participative culture. Success can endure if we are open to change, but the half-life of a ‘formula for success’ (our business model) is getting shorter and shorter.
How can leaders motivate their stakeholders in an era of virtual work, weak organisational performance and slow economic growth?
Leaders need to understand their stakeholders, have a good dialogue with them, support them, and be sympathetic to them. These are not costly leadership qualities: they can be present even when organisations are performing weakly, and economic growth is slow. Indeed, during other times when growth is exponential, there is a risk that leaders forget these leadership fundamentals.
How do we make our strategic plan flexible to allow for changes?
Don’t box yourself into a strategy that has no exit strategy. Regularly benchmark progress against key performance indicators – and take corrective action in a timely way when needed. Corrective action may mean ditching your failing strategy and will certainly, at the very least, involve amending it to optimise results.
How does a company integrate culture, risk and strategy for success?
Yes, these components need to be integrated, and the mission, promise, values and ethics of the organisation must also be integrated with these. They must all be in harmony; otherwise, the organisation will be paralysed. Take some time to consider whether these are all pulling in the same direction. This TEXEM’s forthcoming leadership programme will give you helpful insights into this.
Besides Auditors, what is the role of other functional managers and general management executives in managing risk?
We often talk about ‘the three lines of defence’. Line management (all management, including managers of human resources, marketing, sales and finance) and staff are the first line: they are responsible for following best practice and managing risk. The second line of defence is the review functions – such as the chief risk officer, the quality assurance function, the compliance function: they are there to assure that the first line of defence is doing its job well. The third line of defence is internal audit which independently audits the first and second lines of defence. An important issue is to ensure that a lower line of defence does not rely on a higher line. Some folk point out that there are fourth and fifth lines of defence – external audit being the fourth line and the regulator being the fifth line.
What are public and private sector risks in an era of COVID-19 and increasing social unrest, and how can they be addressed?
We will be exploring this within the programme.
Is this programme only for financial services organisations?
Definitely not. The programme is for all sectors and all sizes of the entity. It is suitable for public and private sector entities – for manufacturers, service organisations, not-for-profit, and financial entities and those working in academia and professional bodies.
How do you strike a balance between risk management and innovation?
Innovation is risky, and so is failing to innovate. You need to apply risk management approaches to your innovative strategies. If you understand your innovation risks and your mitigation strategies, you can take bigger innovation risks that other companies couldn’t do.
Why should leaders attend this programme?
Given TEXEM’s impressive pedigree of consistently helping organisations to thrive and the world-renowned faculties, this is a programme that every executive should not miss. Faculties who would be delivering this programme include Mike Wilkins, Managing Director S&P Global Ratings and Professor Randall S. Peterson of London Business School. Others are Ambassador Dr Peter Collecott, Ambassador Richard Gozney, Lieutenant Governor of Isle of Man and I. Also, the topics that would be covered during this programme is relevant and essential for the success of leaders and organisations. Thus, this TEXEM, UK programme on Risk Management & Effective Leadership for Superlative Performance during Turbulent Times scheduled to take place virtually, between 10-11 March 2021, promises to offer valuable insights on how to unlock scarce value in an era where there are few. Through this executive development programme, leaders would enhance their social capital by networking and steepening their learning curve by challenging assumptions. Notably, in times of volatility, stiff competition, and slow economic growth, it is easy to get so engrossed in the daily struggle to survive that one forgets to be strategic and focus on optimising performance. This TEXEM, UK programme would help participants to learn how to achieve this and more.
Every leader is welcome to attend the programme. Whether you are a CEO, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Human Resource Manager, General Manager, Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Accounting Officer, Chief Procurement Officer, you cannot afford to miss this programme. Also, participants could include Chief Publicity Officer, Chief Technical Officer, and everyone else who occupies a leadership position. Dear executive, this TEXEM UK’s leadership programme is an opportunity to learn requisite actionable insights to win. You can choose to apply as an individual or as a group from your organisation.
For more information, please call +44 7425 883791 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.texem.co.uk and watch the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJY_Z9znogE&feature=youtu.be
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