Looking through the risk lens – Building reputation and resilience into the business model

More than ever before, company boards need to understand risk if they are to ensure the long-term sustainable success of their organisations and to avoid the pitfalls that have tripped up so many, ranging from financial product mis-selling to passing horsemeat off as beef.

There is no shortage of ‘risk stories': for example, Airmic's Roads to Ruin report includes 18 case studies that analyse major corporate crises, such as Northern Rock, Airbus and BP. In every case, it appeared that boards were failing to engage with important risks, including risks to reputation.

This discussion paper aims to provide a conversation starter on how boards can address this deficiency by using their business models to shape an effective risk conversation.