Journal Article | Harvard Business Review | October 2009

Managing Risk in the New World

by Robert S. Kaplan, Anette Mikes, Robert Simons, Peter Tufano and Michael Hofmann Jr.

Abstract

Five experts gathered recently to discuss the future of enterprise risk management: Kaplan, the Baker Foundation Professor at Harvard Business School, who with his colleague David Norton developed the balanced scorecard; Mikes, an assistant professor at HBS who studies the evolution of risk management and the role of the chief risk officer; Simons, the Charles M. Williams Professor of Business Administration at HBS; Tufano, the Sylvan C . Coleman Professor of Financial Management at HBS; and Hofmann, the chief risk officer at Koch Industries. The panel was moderated by HBR senior editor David Champion. Among the questions they addressed were: How predictable was the financial meltdown of 2008-2009? Did new tools for assessing risk give a false sense of security? How do the challenges facing industrial companies differ from those facing the financial sector? Is outsourcing an effective risk-management tool? Have capital structures become a bit too efficient in many companies? What makes a good chief risk officer? Of all the management tasks that were bungled in the period leading up to the global recession of 2008--2009, none was bungled more egregiously than the management of risk. This HBR Spotlight attempts to untangle the reasons that major systemic failures occurred, and to pin down some lessons for leaders and managers in the future.

Keywords: Forecasting and Prediction; Financial Crisis; Capital Structure; Job Cuts and Outsourcing; Risk Management;

Citation:

Kaplan, Robert S., Anette Mikes, Robert Simons, Peter Tufano, and Michael Hofmann Jr. "Managing Risk in the New World." Harvard Business Review 87, no. 10 (October 2009): 68–75.