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Enterprise Risk Management

Poole Podcast Episode 3: Top Risks for 2021 and Beyond: A View from the C-Suite

Episode 3

In this episode, we discuss the top risks for businesses for 2021 as well as peek into insights for 2030. Challenges triggered by a once-in-a-century pandemic continue to unfold, combined with numerous other risk issues, such as growing social unrest and polarization.

Jenny Hammond:  Hello today, I’m really excited about our topic and our guest. The Enterprise Risk Manage Initiative located here in Poole College, annually surveys, boards of directors and C-suite executives about risk on the horizon for the upcoming year. The most recent report, 2021 and 2030 executive perspectives on top risk released earlier this month highlights, top risks of immediate concern on the minds of executives for this year 2021. And for the long-term 2030 to help us break down report and discuss what these trends are we’re joined by Mark Beasley and Jim Deloach. Mark is currently a KPMG professor of accounting and director of the ERM, Initiative here in Poole College, where he teaches and conducts research related to the ERM and board governance.

He has published over a hundred articles, thought papers and books, and regularly works with boards and management teams and strengthening their risk oversight. Welcome Mark. 

Mark Beasley:  Pleased to be here. 

Jenny Hammond:  Excited to have you here. Jim is the managing director for Protiviti is global business. It risk and internal audit consulting practice with over 40 years of client service and Houston, Jim is very actively involved with the ERM Initiative here at Poole College and has been a member of the initiative board for several years.

Welcome to you as well. 

Jim Deloach:  Glad to be here Jenny, thank you. 

Jenny Hammond:  We have a lot to talk about today, so let’s get started, Mark. Let’s start with you. Before we jump into the meat of this conversation, why don’t you tell our listeners a little bit about the Enterprise Risk Management Initiative or ERM, for short as well as how you came to partner with Jim and Protiviti.

Mark Beasley:  Great Jenny happy to. The ERM initiative at Poole college is a thought center. We’re just trying to provide thought leadership to help organizational leaders think about how they manage risk across their enterprise, but with a particular focus of how that management of risk should connected to strategic planning, overall governance.

And so we launched it in 2004 and our approach is very much this think and do mindset of NC state, where we’re trying to do academic research and thought leadership. But at the same time, very applied. So applied means we’re connecting with people like Jim in the real world. Jim is a member of our ERM, initiative advisory board.

We have representatives from all across the United States, from major organizations like Protiviti. And other very large corporate entities, about 50 people on our board. And Jim’s been a part of that, I think from the very beginning, if not right close to the beginning. Jim and I met, Jim is really the grandfather of ERM, in my book he wrote what I would call was the leading thought leadership on this topic in the nineties.

I think Jim is that’s right where he wrote a book on enterprise risk management long before it was really. Taking traction. So he had that forethought on the topic, but Jim and I have worked together on a number of initiatives, like the COSO project that developed one of the first, ERM frameworks as we’ve we overlap in a lot of spaces, but thrilled that Jim’s a part of what we’re doing here at NC State.

Jenny Hammond: Great. Thanks Mark. And as a follow-up to that, Jim, maybe you can tell us a little bit more about the scope of the work that Protiviti produces and why perhaps you partner with initiatives such as the ERM here in Poole College.

Jim Deloach:  Mark, I’m going to have to slip you that $100 bill, but global consulting farm, we have four core businesses, technology consulting, business process improvement. Risk and compliance and internal audit and financial advisory. We work with clients to help them solve their business challenges and problem then of course, the world changed. And so there are a lot of opportunities to help companies succeed navigating the new choppy waters that we’ve had over the past year.

And as we continue forward, we’re very pleased to be involved with the enterprise risk management initiative. And I’ve known Mark for almost 20 years. And we’re just delighted to be a part of the advisory board. And I think that the ERM initiative is just an outstanding source of knowledge for practitioners in the market point that I’ve heard quite a few and dedicate that to me.

Mark Beasley:  And then I want to add to it, you know, positivity, it’s global, which ties into our study that we were going to talk about, but they’ve got a global presence around the world. And so I think a lot of what we’re going to talk about has that global global message to it.

Jim Deloach:  They certainly have a global profit. In fact, Jenny, as you get into your questions, we’re very pleased with the global out of the global reach of our study this year.

Jenny Hammond:  I can imagine it resonates with many, probably more so than ever. Right. Well, Mark, I know this is the ninth annual report that you’ve done when you and I talked about this. Initially, you said that you know, executives literally around the world, wait for this report to come out because they leverage it in so many ways.

But for those of us that maybe have not gotten the weeds of the report, or don’t really know the scope of it, could you give us kind of a high level what this report does and the purpose it serves? 

Mark Beasley:  Yeah, happy to. So we started this, as you said, this is our ninth year, so we’re several years into it and we’ve applied a very consistent sort of our approach to this.

And what we’re really trying to do is get the perspective of C-suite leaders. So those at the highest level of the senior executive team and the C-suite CEO and direct reports, as well as board of directors around the world to get their perspectives on what the risk issues are for their organization for the next year.

So again, we were surveying people in November and December of 2020, about 2021. This year, however, there’s an added sort of benefit to it that we’ve normally done the year ahead. So we’re trying to come out really early in a calendar year to say what’s on the horizon for this year. This year we went and said, okay, now also tell us what’s on the horizon in 10 years, 2030.

And so this is a perspective of what peers that are in the C-suite and board around the world across a lot of different industries think are the big issues. And we are able to not only do that for the full sample, which is over, it’s like 1,081, I believe is this year so about 1,100 people are responding and that allows us then to then analyze, do a sub analysis across different sizes of business, different industries, different geographies. You ask Europe, Asia as well as then different people. What are board members worried about that CEOs are not and vice versa. So it’s all that slicing of different analyses that I think really. Provides extra color. And this year we have that added benefit of not only 2021 but 2030.

Jenny Hammond:  And Jim, given what you hear from business leaders in the marketplace, why is there such an interest among them with this report when it’s released each year and how do they leverage it across their businesses? 

Jim Deloach:  Well, I think, but one thing I’ve learned Jenny, that when you talk with business leaders in the market place and you have empirical information from their peers in the market place, I think they’re all worried that you didn’t hearing that.

And of course, risk is always been, had been top of mind, particularly, in our study, we just don’t get sidled down into operational myth. Our study focuses on macro-economic and strategic risk as well. And so we, it brings a strategic, a very strong strategic flavor to it that I think is of significant interest to business leaders.

And I think it’s what helps us that apart from studies that kind of focus more on the operational. Insurable risks, side effects.  

Mark Beasley:  And  I’m a follow of that. Yeah. What, you know, and I know is people, we were, well, let me back up to say that we purposefully did not do the survey until after the US elections in November, because we wanted to get perspectives after people had that information.

That meant that normally we released this report in mid-December. This year, we released it early February because we wanted to you know, add more time to get the response. We were getting people emailing us. When does that report come out? When is that report coming out? And here’s what they’re telling me.

And I’m sure Jim will say the same thing is, most organizations, their leadership team is sort of thinking about, here’s what we think our risks are. They’re worried about what is it that I don’t know that I should. And so our report, I think, is used as a completeness check. Here’s what management came up with.

Now. Let’s go see what others think to see if we miss something. And I think it’s that comfort of it’s a little bit of a safety net in their thinking of did I miss something that is like obvious to everybody else? And I’m hearing that. A lot of times management’s taking their list of risk into a board meeting and saying, here’s what we think our risks are.

And we benchmark that against this positivity NC State study. So the great thing is, I think is in boardrooms and Jim, you probably know that firsthand because you’re going into board rooms. I’d be curious if you’re seeing it used that way too. 

Jenny Hammond:  So I think, talk about top risk for 2021 without talking about the pandemic.

Right. You know, surely when we all started 2020, we did not know we were going to we’re living in. So I know that that was definitely something that caught a lot of businesses off guard in 2020. Mark, are you seeing that as a continued top risk for 2021 as well? 

Mark Beasley:  Absolutely a part of our approach over the nine years has been we’ve taken typically 30 risks as Jim mentioned, macro-economic, strategic operational, and we’ve surveyed them consistently to get a sense for these broad 30 risk issues to allow us the ability to look at trending. But this year we said, you know, we’ve got to think about what are the unique issues tied to the pandemic.

So we actually added some additional risks. So we actually now have 36 risks. We added two for macro-economic, two for strategic to operational that are more pandemic specific. I guess in some ways, not surprising, but it’s always interesting. What does bubbles to the top, but the number one risk? Well, actually the top three really are tied to the pandemic pretty closely.

So the first one was the number one concern is concern over government policies or regulations that are coming out to manage the pandemic. So dealing with social distancing, Allowing people to be in crowds, travel restrictions, mass requirements, all those kinds of things. They’re really worried about the changing nature of those regulations and how it’s going to impact your ability to deliver their products and services.

So that was the number one risk followed by the economy. Just general concerns about the ongoing unemployment challenges and just the issues tied to the volatility of the economic sort of environment we’re operating in. And then the third one was dealing with the pandemic. Now changing sort of how customers are becoming to accept how we deliver products and services, could customer demand for what they want be permanently shifting, you know, not, we think we’re going to go back.

Well now we’re what, 11 months into this, it’s almost like we’re probably not going back. We got to go to something new and they’re worried about that product or service, but those are the ones that pop to my mind, but I’m sure Jim has some thoughts on that too.

Jim Deloach:  Yeah, it’s the pandemic really dominated the study.

I mean, not only what fell into the top 10, but I’m in the pandemic, the stuff in the workplace with number 12 and would just drive below the top 10 it’s clearly top of mind. And that should come to no surprise to anyone. There are other roof tiles wherever in the top town. So only speak to some of the priorities. I think Mark, around what company we need to be thinking about as we move beyond the pandemic and get out of a pandemic and put it in the rear view mirror. There’s lots to do in terms of this changing world apart.

Jenny Hammond:  Jim, were there any risks that came out of this report that surprised you.  

Jim Deloach:  Well, I don’t know if it’s prized to us, but I mean, clearly digital talent, like cyber privacy and regulatory rules were a top of mind.

And I think that the digitals on the digital side, I think you you’re talking about the future of work and the competition again, born digital. Competitors and other competitors with superior operations and digital maturity. I think, you know, the notion that we can continue to operate with the status quo and somehow react when the competition comes up with a better mouse trap, you know, that is so passe and it’s done.

I mean, then the digital era. It’s an analog and the digital era. You have to have a level of digital capability thinking acting digitally, that enables you to continuously maximize the customer experience. And this is extremely important for companies able to thrive and some cases survive because customer expectations, customer loyalty can be very fleeting as we look out over the next decade.

So I think that digital aspect really came through strong, Jenny. And on the talent side, you know, part of the digital emphasis is on the future of work with the technology such as artificial intelligence, other digital capabilities, automations, and all of its forms continuously transforming the workplace and the nature of work such that millions upon millions of job functions would be eliminated.

And at the same time, overtime, creating millions and millions of new job functions in order to maximize the ROI in those technologies. That’s a significant up-skilling and re-skilling task for companies all over the world. In addition to that, leadership succession, and being able to access the A players, the real talent in the marketplace that are becoming scarcer, that is also that also presents the challenge that companies are facing. And that came through Mark very loud and clear on our study.

Mark Beasley:   Yeah, I totally agree. You know, it’s interesting is, as Jim is highlighting, is there’s this technology talent intersection. It’s the two T’s in some ways, just this need to be innovative, digitally savvy and having the skillset.

And I think what entities are finding or sensing is it’s getting pretty competitive. I find that talent. One of the, I think it was, Jim correct me if I’m wrong. But I think our number 10 risk was just the concern that we’re not going to have the talent to really be able to leverage data analytics and big data to generate the insights we need for the future to then be innovative.

And then one of the top 10 risks along with that, that’s interesting is it’s paired with a real concern that in their organizations, there’s a significant resistance to change. So what Jim is saying is we got to change. Status quo is not going to work, but there’s a worry. That we’re going to be slow to change.

So it’s this innovation and willingness to take risks, I think ultimately, but they need the talent. And then as Jim talked about the succession leadership dealing with succession planning, so that there’s leadership, that’s visionary, which I think to me as, you know, a professor at NC State, but this will be true for any business school, but for our students, I hope they’re hearing that message of these are some messages to be thinking about technology and innovation strategy, vision and analytics. It’s sort of a that’s where the space is going it seems.

Jenny Hammond:  Yeah. I was going to say that I saw that one of the top 10 risks reflects a concern about whether organizations have the right kinds of talent to Virgin analysis and big data.

So I was gonna say, can you describe more about that, that concern? I said, do you think is hidden in that concern that our current and future students should consider as they complete their coursework at NC State?

Mark Beasley:  I’ll take a stab. I’d love to get Jim’s thoughts on this because you’re out in the marketplace even more so, but, you know, I just think, gosh, entities seem to be concerned about obviously there’s just massive amounts of data, but we’re seeing that in all walks of life. And I think the worry is there’s insight in that data that I’m not seeing. And my competitor, my competitor will see it. And so we need people to come and do that. I think in Poole College are focused on business analytics where we’re balancing knowledge about how to do the data analysis with how to use it, to make a decision is sort of where we’re trying to play. And I think that’s the kind of talent that people might be looking for. But Jim, I’d be curious, you know, you’re in the marketplace all the time. What’s your thought on what, from a talent perspective in this big data issue? 

Jim Deloach:  Well, I think that the comment I was making about the acquisition and retention of top talent, which I separate from the future of work.

That’s an upscale re-skill issue, but I’m talking about the acquisition and retention of top talent. I think you have to put that in the context. You’re talking about the talent you need to execute the formula strategy. And execute complex strategies that are all geared to continuously improving, enhancing, redefining the customer experience.

And you can’t do that flying blind, you gotta have an instrument patient, you know, if you’re flying in storms or what have you, you got to have metrics, you’ve got to have a dashboard. You’ve got to have the right metrics that enable you to understand what customer they’re really thinking, what their preferences are, whether your products and services that really resonated, whether there are all product alternatives in the marketplace.

This requires data. And the whole concept of big data with just below the top 10 for the near term, it made the top 10 looking at over the next 10 years. It’s been a topic all along for many years, but now it’s making headway into our top risks are, but bottom line, I was like, you could sum it up this way, Mark. In the digital economy who’s got the kowledge and the insights that are going to those who are late to gaining knowledge and insights that are not going to fare as well.

Mark Beasley:   And I’ll pair that with the 2030, when you look at some of the top risks there, there’s definitely a theme about, you know, adoption of digital technologies, rapid speed of innovation, keeping pace with that rapid speed concerns about substitute products and services emerging.

So it’s this sorta future thinking that if we don’t have the right talent to think today, about 2030, we’re going to wake up in 2030 and be left behind. 

Jenny Hammond:  Just shifting a little bit here. What did you observe when you looked across industries? There, was there any particular industry that was, or should be concerned about 2021?

Jim Deloach:  I just wanted to just say Mark, that I think when you look across the industry, I mean the pandemic is front and center in every industry and it just seems like resilience, agility seem to be things that we see across industries, how they are intending to react and pivot changes in the marketplace because all industries are affected differently, but the dynamics of every single industry all happen impacted by the pandemic and many industries the changes they are experiencing ongoing are likely to be longstanding and ongoing so that, you know, not, I don’t see Mark, any of our industry respondents saying, or just thing that they expect to go back to the pre pandemic normal in any way, anytime soon.

Mark Beasley:  Yeah. Yeah. I agree. I don’t see that either. One of the messages that when I look at the industry data is obviously looking at my industry, peers is critical, but so many entities, particularly your large ones really cross over into maybe multiple industries. So part of the value is to be thinking about, okay, this part of my business is more, and this predict like, you know, there are some, you know, some of the auto manufacturers or even motorcycle manufacturers have a financing subsidiary.

So obviously financial services is relevant to their businesses to be factoring. So it’s important to look at both dimensions, but the one, the industry that maybe to no surprise in some ways that was probably the sense of the riskiest environment is healthcare is just the impact of everything on healthcare.

Although I will say Jim, over the last few years, healthcare has been high on the high risk and they’ve tended to be rating risk higher and I guess there’s no surprise given the complexity of healthcare, the focus nationally on the healthcare industry costs, but then now this year you’ve got a pandemic where their services are so stretched.

Healthcare really was pretty high on the you know, their risk, they read at a much higher level significance compared to other industries. 

Jim Deloach:  Healthcare has been an interesting industry group to watch, you know, study over the last month. 

Jenny Hammond:  I was just going to say another one that I thought was, would have perhaps been interesting to watch would be retail.

Mark Beasley:  Yeah. Yeah. I mean, we definitely have consumer products and services in there and you know, they definitely got their risk challenges and I think there’s, you know, concerns along the lines of innovation product substitution market demand shifting what I talked about earlier of could, the way we’re now delivering products and services, we’re getting sort of used to now they show up at my door at 10 o’clock at night or five in the morning.

You know, I get what I want tonight, you know, so I think, you know, there’s concern about how this is going to have a lingering more permanent time kind of change. When you were asking earlier about what caught you, what catches you by surprise a little bit. One of the things we ask and each year is before we get into the specific 36 risks, we say, well, what is your general sense about the overall magnitude and severity of risk for 2021?

As you look at just broad environment this year they’re rating that overall environment definitely much riskier than prior years. And you would think, gosh, we’ve been through a crazy time. That’s interesting. And, but I would sort of thing, it seems riskier, but when you ask them about a very specific risk, one of the 36, they tend to be not as concerned compared to the prior year, which is interesting.

I think there’s a little bit of messaging there that what people are worried about is what I don’t know, but probably should. Once I have a risk on my radar. Okay. I can get my arms around that. I can manage it, but it’s like, I think we’ve been so blindsided over the last year and a lot of cases that we’re just worried about the next blind side.

That’s sort of how I interpret that disconnect on that. 

Jim Deloach:  I think that is exactly it, Mark. I think they had seen one of the most unprecedented risk environment over the last year, perhaps in everyone’s lifetime while pandemic risk. It’s been around for a long time. And I’ve not known anybody to put pandemic risks getting their top 10 enterprise critical enterprise because something as the board and senior management needs to be aware of them talk well, pandemic risk is always a part of business continuity, management programs, but has it really registered and resonated with them?

I don’t think so. And so, but you know, it certainly is now. And those organizations that were digitally invested well, those that were able to pivot and adapt more quickly to the environment other than those that weren’t. So I think this is really been an eye-opener and you look forward. I think there, the results that you described, Mark, suggest that they’re looking you’re right for that, okay, what else can happen now? Because this is unprecedented and this is a very disruptive environment. I’ll be going to have more at this time. And I think, I think there perhaps are envisioning more this side in terms of the risk environment versus specific risk, if you will. 

Jenny Hammond:  I think it’s  probably safe to say there is not an industry that exists that does not now think about a future pandemic.

And what we will be doing. Right. I mean, how could you not? Yeah. Yeah. From schools to every type of existence you can think of. 

Mark Beasley:  Yeah. I just hope that we don’t become forgetful too quickly. You know how we move once we get back to sort of a more, what seems more normal? Will we forget what we’re learning now?

I don’t know. I hope not. But one thing Jim talked about continuity business continuity planning, you know part of my advisory board we’ve asked our board some of the challenges they’re facing and one of the observations come for our board meetings is: Entities are realizing the way they’ve approached business continuity planning has been too siloed. And a lot of the cases has been led by the IT group. That’s been the focal point. And what they’re realizing is business continuity planning is much more complex and needs to be elevated from a governance perspective to a higher level, because we need to think about conduit operations.

Beyond just technology as we know now, people and working from home, and I’m hoping that just this focus on thinking about it may not be a pandemic next time that disrupts our operations, but it could be just as disruptive from a different cause. 

Jim Deloach:  I one thing I think that has been very, very interesting is that the, as you look back over 2020, I think it’s been very interesting how quickly organizations fail to work with a do or die situation faced with a complete cessation of operation and innovating in a fraction of the time that took them to innovate prior to the pandemic. We’re talking innovating in a matter of days and weeks, what type months and years. And so I think that as you look forward, part of a broader message of our study is if the importance of resilience and the importance of adaptability, that’s one reason why it’s old mainstay of resistance to change that we saw in the rest for 2021, continues to be concerning because it tells us that business leaders, in spite of this unprecedented environment requiring agility and resilience and adapting.

There’s still a perception that there’s a significant amount of resistance to change. And that is something that culturally needs to be addressed but by companies that still have that issue. 

Jenny Hammond:  So I want to spend a little time before we wrap up the podcast today. A couple more questions for you too, but the other part of this report is 2030.

So looking at kind of longer term risk, Mark, let’s focus on the risks of greatest concern for 2030, to what extent where some of the risks from 2020 and 21. Do you see continuing to appear in 2030? 

Mark Beasley:  Yeah. Yeah. It’s an interesting, so definitely there’s some overlap between the top 10 in 2021 and top 10 to 2030, a couple that pop to my mind are issues tied to technology.

And that being concerns in 2021 about privacy identity management protection of systems and data just could we inadvertently. You know, disclose information. We shouldn’t from the data that we have because we have so much data. Now that’s a worry that continues 10 years out. Cyber threats, just the threats of hackers.

And we’ve heard a lot in the news in the fall, particularly at a global level about, you know, nation States and things like that, attacking systems. I think that is that just continues to go forward. Another one that pops to mind is concerned about regulatory changes, scrutiny that’s in our top 10 for 2021, but it zooms to the number two risks and top 2030, that concerns about broader sort of scrutiny.

From a regulatory perspective of how we can operate our business. And that we always highlight there that we think this is beyond just the regulated industry. So this is beyond banking and an assurance kind of perspective. This is coming up across multiple industries. It’s broader issues. When you think about privacy and security with GDPR, that affects all of us that are interacting with the public. And so that’s a regulatory issue that affects every business, whether I’m an NC state or a nonprofit or a for-profit company. So some are really things related to the environment, social governance. That is a regulatory issue that I think people are sensing could grow.

And the concern is could that scrutiny impact how they sell their products and services and how they go to the market. 

Jenny Hammond:  Jim, you know what 2030 top risks popped out to you that were of a concern to some of these executives? 

Jim Deloach:  I feel like the big one for me, Jenny was the fact that and augmenting the general thing, that we see a digital world going forward and therefore the future of work and the digital acceleration that can drive the future of work and the issue around competition with born digital players that was augmented by the fact that exposure to disruptive change jumped from the 18th division in 2021 all the way up to now the third position for 2030. So these business leaders who responded to the survey were saying let’s fasten our seatbelt, because this is going to be a highly disruptive environment.

And so that’s what we think. We certainly got disruption in 2020, we’re saying disruption over the next 10 years. I think the reason they didn’t specify the exposure to disruptive change impacting business models in 2021 is because there was so focused as Mark pointed out, on to get it working their worth through the pandemic and getting beyond that, it was a major issue.

I think also the risks that were new and 2030, the exposure to substitute products, fleeting customer loyalty, which kind of fall under the thing of disrupted change, and, big data found its way into the top 10, which suggests that these business leaders envision the importance of data, advanced data analytics knowledge is power. Data and insights about the customer experience about the pulse of our employees, about how effective and resilient our supply chains are. All this is about information, information for deficient quality, strategic. An operational division can be muddied with information as real time as possible. That’s the opportunity in big data. Those who do it well are going to fare better in this disruptive environment vs those who don’t.

Jenny Hammond:  Yeah, I would agree. So I thought it would be, we are college at the end of the day. Right. W do have our tagline of think and do, and I’m going to switch this up on you guys from what we originally discussed, but I’m curious, we get a lot of students and alum, alumni that listened to this podcast and is for those listening, I’d be curious to hear perspectives from each of you as students, or those that are early in their careers can continue to prepare and build skills that will help them be effective leaders that can potentially impact some of these risks for companies down the road. 

Jim Deloach:  I would say this, I envy all of them, Bill Gates made an observation that what about the timing now entering into business.

And he mentioned his quote went something like a paraphrase, like what an exciting time to enter into business. We’re going to see more change over the next 10 years than we saw over the last 50. And, you know, I think about the span of my career and I look forward and I can, you know, I just think it’s going to be an exciting world, as businesses at the private sector and the public sector cope with the challenges facing our society and our world.

And I have no doubt we’ll work our way through it. You know, the history of our species, it’s not been a smooth, it’s been rocky, but we’ve always risen up to the challenge and your students, students of North Carolina State University have an opportunity to be a part of that story and that narrative. And so that’s why I say I envy them.

Mark Beasley:  I think we should get Jim to be our commencement speaker that was awesome.

Jenny Hammond:  A little teary eyed over here. 

Mark Beasley:  Right? Great. What a great message, Jim I think, you know, I won’t say it as eloquently as you did, but when I think about the generation that we’re, we have now in front of us and those that will be coming soon, it is an exciting time.

I think as long as, our students will think with a, with a mindset of being flexible, willing to embrace the new that not being so hesitant to change. As well as, you know, I’m the risk guy and not, and don’t be hesitant to take risks. You got to take risks. What we’re just trying to say is take it with intelligence.

So. Embrace risk, not in a fear, but just, and I just want to have knowledge so that I can navigate with that knowledge, but not be paralyzed by the risk side, because risks are always a part they’ve been around since the beginning. So we’ve got to get comfortable with that, but I think it creates a lot of excitement because over a career they’re going to have so much, there’s so much opportunity out there that it’s going to be hard to be bored if they’re really engaged. 

Jim Deloach:  One thought I would. Yeah, you don’t want to over stay the welcome here, but I was addressing a group of students this past Monday night at a graduate ERM class. And we got down to the end and I just pointed out that don’t get lost at the task level because you can, it’s so easy to get consumed by the task you’re facing when you get into the workplace, but never lose your sight of the big picture, big strategic picture. And what is really important at the board level on the C-suite what’s important to the CEO, how the CEO is trying to drive the organization forward. Yeah. Focus on those broader issues about the business strategy of the organization and the challenge that it faces.

And I think you will add more value to your employer than you would if you are consumed at the task level. 

Jenny Hammond:  Great, great advice. Yeah. Mark, Jim, I cannot thank you enough for spending time with us this morning. This report fascinates me. I know it fascinates a lot a lot of others and how appropriate it resonates now in the time that we’re living.

Right? So lots of good stuff in here got a lot of good takeaways. We appreciate the time that you spent with us and hopefully perhaps, maybe you can make it a yearly trip. We can dig into this report every year. So we get to have you back on the podcast. That’d be great. 

Mark Beasley: We’ll do it.

Jenny Hammond: Awesome. Thank you so much.

About the Poole Podcast

The Poole Podcast is a think and do conversation about the relationship between academics and industry. Each episode will share research and ideas from inside the classroom from our incredible NC State faculty and explore how it’s being translated into practice. Released every two weeks on Monday.