Introducing Risk Management and Other Professions by Engr. Jacob Adeosun

Today, Risk Management is prominent on the agenda of successful organizations and entities all over the world. The need to grow the practice in the developing world is obvious. This is imperative in the case of Nigeria, a country the emancipation of the black race from poverty. The inevitable change from poverty to prosperity is achievable and more effectively when the professions embed risk management into their practice. This will entail the obvious need for organizations to integrate risk management practices with their operational activities.

At this point, it is important to understand what risk management means. Risk Management, according to Charles Nyce (2007) involves the efforts of individuals or organization as to efficiently assess, effects of losses or missed opportunities. He went further to note that individuals practice risk management to protect their limited assets from losses and to help them meet their personal goals; while organizations do so to add value and ensure that losses or missed opportunities do not prevent them from meeting their corporate goals.

Having defined risk management, the most logical question to ask is: Who is a Risk Manager? Or rather: Who is to practice Risk Management? Simply put in another way: Who are supposed to be the core members of the Risk Management Profession? To answer the above questions one can simply say that it is everybody, but would rather identify the core individuals as follows:
  • Risk Assessors, Risk Surveyors, Investigatigators, Analysts, Explorers, Internal and External Auditors, Navigators, Forensic Practitioners, Members of Risk and Governance Committees. Those whose job or activities involve finding out the How, Why, What, Where and the extent of issues that should make organisations excel efficiently. These people provide answers to the questions: What can happen? What has happened? What was the impact? What could be involved? What is the result? What could be the result?
  • Those involved in Risk Control or Treatment such as Health Safety and Environment (HSE) Officers, Quality Control/Quality Assurance/Quality Management System Officers, Medical Practitioners, Chief Risk Officers, Credit Controllers, Fire Fighters. Others like the Emergency Responders, Security Officers, Law Enforcement Officers, Guidance and Counselors, Human Capital Managers, Religious Leaders, Judiciary Officers, Solicitors and Advocates, Mediators, Managers/Supervisors of Productive Endeavors/Entities, Finance Managers, Budget Controllers, Compliance Officers, Internal and External Auditors - are all supposed to be members of the noble profession of risk.Those involved in Risk
  • Those involved in Risk Financing related functions including the following: Insurers and Reinsurers, Self-Insurers, Captive Insurers, Risks-linked Investment Providers, Alternative Risk Technique Providers, Fund Managers, Project Financiers, Budget Managers and Contract Managers.
  • There is another important category of Responsible People, who should take risk management more seriously as revealed by the following questions and answers. Who is responsible for the well-being, progress, or a project? He could be the Head, Leader, Chairman, President, CEO, etc., addressed by whatever title. Who has the responsibility for ensuring that the organization's basic needs are met and its aspirations achieved? The Head: who is responsible for security, peace, progress and viability of a State? The Governor: who has the responsibility to ensure that his State remains stable and better governed. In all, it could be the Heads of Departments and Units, Commissioners, Ministers, Heads of Parastatals, Board Members, Executive and Non-Executive Directors or Members of Strategic Committees, etc. Therefore, in my view, the Head, Leader, President, Chairman, CEO, etc. addressed by whatever title are the Chief Risk Officers of their organisations while their deputies and all others with delegated responsibilities for achieving operational successes are their Risk Managers, provided they are risk-conscious and trained in the risk management application.
  • Finally, when an entity or a project fails, who bears the brunt? The owners of the organization and the intended stakeholders are naturally the ones to bear such brunt. Therefore, shareholders, investors, business promoters and the people stand to gain or lose from the performance of the organization or the project. This entails that they should also be risk managers as stakeholders through advisory or other roles to promote the success of the entity or the project.
It is with the above in mind that I wrote a book titled Risk Management and Other Professions to discuss some risk related issues affecting some other professions; and how such professions could benefit from the application of risk management processes in their endeavors. The book strives also to arouse the awareness of professionals to risks associated with their responsibilities in their different professions; and how to mitigate such risks effectively. The book strives to bring the fore what risks professionals face and how to manage such risks. It offers views on the way forward towards achieving risk management objectives, goals and targets in alignment with organisational strategies.

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