Risk management for innovation

“Unless organisations take calculated and managed risks, there can be no innovation.”

race carIn recent years, there has been growing emphasis on risk management across the board. However, the approach taken by many organisations focus on process, compliance, and statistical modelling. This approach is not only cumbersome, but can be misleading due to its lack of consideration of black swan events.  Unless organisations take calculated and managed risks, there can be no innovation, change and growth, and most risk management approaches focus more on downside, rather than upside, risks.

Assessing and managing risk is not “rocket science”, but to have risk management that is comprehensive, robust, pragmatic and credible requires a rare blend of strategic, project management and risk management capability. Strategy2Life is uniquely qualified to identify, assess, evaluate and treat risks associated with innovation. Our principal, Stephanie Owen, is someone with years of involvement with new ventures, while being able to speak the language of risk management technical specialists. In addition to her strategic and program/project management experience, her risk management credentials over the last decade include the following:

  • Developed project risk methodologies, tools and operating models at three ASX top 20 organisations, including specific input into project risk evaluation processes and guidelines
  • Proposed and established a risk management function, including a virtual team of 10 risk managers, specifically for the portfolio of international digital business initiatives within a major Australian financial institution
  • Invited expert presenter at the NSW CPA Congress on “strategy execution and risk management with the ISO31000/AS4360”
  • Invited expert panellist at an e-conference on project risk management, along with renowned project management experts Rob Thomsett and Jed Simms
  • Invited expert presenter at an industry conference on managing risks associated with the then-emerging field of online commerce
  • Author of several papers involving the use of risk management approaches to evaluating and launching new strategic initiatives and increasing shareholder value

 Ways that Strategy2Life can help with your innovation risk management include:

  • Facilitation of stakeholder identification and evaluation of risks associated with key strategic and innovation initiatives
  • Facilitation of risk management mitigation and contingency planning
  • Development of multi-level roll-up risk reporting processes and guidelines
  • Development/ update of project evaluation guidelines that are innovation-friendly and risk-aware
  • Development and implementation of portfolio, program and project risk management methodologies, tools, processes, guidelines and reporting for Portfolio/Program Management Offices (PMO)
  • Ongoing risk management advisory role as part of a governance group (eg, steering committee) for an innovation/strategic change initiative
  • Training and coaching in project risk management
  • Review and evaluation of risk management maturity as it relates to strategic and innovation risk management.

Benefits to you include:

  • Balanced perspective on risk and return, with credible, robust and comprehensive risk management applied to innovation and strategic opportunities: “You can travel faster when you know the brakes work.”
  • Meaningful, relevant risk reporting to various levels of management
 “Stephanie has an excellent capability to establish the real business issues both at a strategic as well as operational level.  She is very pragmatic and demonstrates excellent client focus through addressing the tough questions as well as providing well developed and evaluated solutions.”  – John Walker, Chief Financial Officer, Wesley Institute

 Example past assignments:

  • Risk manager for over 25 strategic initiatives, including finance and HR system ERP implementations, various technology projects, post-merger integration, a new financial planning workbench, and evaluating entry into a new geographical market.
  • Reversing an initial rejection of a business case for an innovative initiative through robust risk management (read more)
  • Lead risk manager for the initiative to develop and launch a new online distribution channel for a wealth management organisation. (read more)
  • Developed and implemented multi-level roll-up reporting for a business unit specifically set up to develop and incubate international and innovative technology ventures within a large ASX20 organisation.
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