All posts by Steve Mallory

Coca Cola on Risk Identification & Risk Resources

id risk nov 2016 4

Of the many things that effective leaders can do to reach their goals, properly identifying risks is one of them. Education is another. In this issue of Commentary, we look at how Coca-Cola identifies their corporate risks, and how they educate their people on risk management. Finally, we refer to resource rich research which provides access for you and your team to hundreds of papers and videos, to help you better manage risk. Read more…

Lessons from U of Calgary’s Cyber Ransom: How to Protect your Organization

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Why would a sophisticated university need to succumb to paying a ransom to petty cyber thieves? According to Linda Delgetty, University of Calgary’s Vice-President of Finances and Services, “…. we did that solely so we could protect the quality and the nature of the information we generate at the university.”1 In other words, the university was not prepared for the attack and risked losing years of research data, so it chose to barter with criminals risking that the data may never be retrieved. What can we learn from this incident and how should Canadian business leaders protect their organizations? Read more…

Taking Calculated Business Risks in a Volatile 2016

Images- Calcualting Global Meltdown stock board

As the dust from 2015 settles, Canadian business leaders return to their desks facing a daunting list of new and emerging risks in 2016. The big winners will be those executives and boards who work collaboratively to select the best growth opportunities, and take calculated risks pursuing them. How will they do this?

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Staying Current on Leading Risk Management Practices

IMages- best practices in risk from bingI was honoured to be included on a panel  at this years FEI Canada’s annual conference held in Winnipeg in June 2015.  A large audience attended the session on Leading Practices in Implementing Risk Management. This subject is evidently top of mind at many organizations in Canada. In writing this article which appears in the FEI Newsletter, I have summarized the key takeaways in a format that will be useful for busy senior executives and board members looking to stay current on best practices in formalized risk management. Read more…

Protect Yourself: Snapshot of Directors & Officers Duties, Liabilities, and Insurance

Protect Yourself
Oversight of protection for directors & officers against litigation may be one of the most important actions a business leader undertakes, yet this function is often overlooked. As a guest speaker at the Canadian Society of Corporate Secretaries (CSCS) annual conference in Montreal in August 2015, I outlined a key rule which surprised some attendees: D&O’s must personally take the time to ensure that they are properly protected from litigation. Many busy business leaders mistakenly believe that is the job of others to protect them, failing to rigorously oversee the various processes which must be in place. The intent of this paper is to provide a quick summarized snapshot for busy business leaders on: the basic duties of D&O’s; current litigation and trends; the basics in D&O insurance and common mistakes; and common best practices. This quick read could save you from scrambling if and when you are named in litigation later.  Read more…

Changing the world, one water well at a time

Water for Life Initative

On July 4th 2015, The Globe and Mail Report on Business published a story on an initiative I’ve had the pleasure to lead. (1)  As Canadians, we are fortunate to be among the top four countries in the world with clean, drinkable water (behind Sweden, Austria and Norway). (2)  Sadly, 3.5 million people die annually from ingesting diseased water. As a Canadian business owner, I’ve decided to help address this urgent problem by becoming involved with the “Water for Life Initiative” hosted by the Global Aid Network (GAiN).

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Quantifying What Keeps Leaders Awake at Night

what keeps leaders awake

It was a pleasure to be acknowledged as a contributor to an excellent paper appearing in the UK’s widely read “Governance” magazine, March 2015 Issue 249.1 In their article entitled “Risk Oversight”, esteemed colleagues Ghislain Giroux Dufort (of Baldwin Consulting) and Denis Lavoie (of VIA Rail) address how executives and directors of organizations can monitor key strategic risks, arming them to prioritize the most urgent situations which require immediate attention. With this methodology in place, leaders are bound to sleep better knowing in near real-time the status of the most troubling situations which could potentially derail their top organizational objectives.

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Regulatory Risk: Officers and Directors Face Big Personal Liabilities

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I was pleased to be recently quoted in the covering story in the January 2015 issue of “Canadian Insurance”, however, the key message should be alarming for Canadian executives and directors. Recent adjudication by the courts relating to pollution clean-up costs at the now bankrupt Northstar Aerospace has left 13 executives and directors personally liable for $4.75MM, all stemming from a violation of environmental legislation. Equally alarming is that their D&O insurance appears not to have protected them. To senior level corporate people in Canada- you should read about this case, irrespective of the industry you serve in. Your key takeaway for your particular company and industry- understand your key operating risks and ensure that you are operating well within your various regulatory responsibilities.

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Cyber Risks: Getting to Critical Investment Decisions

Cyber security
Leaders and directors of organizations are now inundated with grim statistics about cyber security risks and the consequences of not acting to protect their organizations. Therefore, why are cyber security investment decisions stalled in many organizations? In order to lead change in this area, the top people in organizations need to talk the talk, obtain a “plain language” understanding of the risks and issues, while asking good questions to start the process. In this Commentary, we focus on what needs to be done at a high level to set direction in preparation for making critical investment decisions.

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Auditing Business Risks

controlling risks

In this Commentary, we examine two corporate catastrophes which occurred within the last year, focusing on the damage done and on the ensuing personal risk to the directors and officers (D&O’s). In both cases, D&O’s failed to identify, manage and act on protection for stakeholders against the key risks. At the conclusion, we provide a call-to-action on what can be done by corporate leaders in prevention of similar occurrences, i.e. regular audits of business risks and following the five basic steps in risk management.

How could these situations have been prevented? Read more…