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

Toxic jpeg 3

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…

Gain Competitive Advantage Through Enterprise Risk Management



On June 2nd, 8:30 am-noon  at the Albany Club in Toronto, at a session of the Canadian Society of Corporate Secretaries, I will be joined by John Fraser from Hydro One, and we’ll be jointly speaking on Enterprise Risk Management (ERM). Proactive organizations world-wide are gaining a competitive advantage through ERM, by targeting objectives with more certainty.

This instructional session will assist organizations to manage risk better, and will be appropriate for senior executives and board members who wish to understand ERM and how it can benefit their organizations.

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Escalating Management and Directors Liabilities


In This Issue: Escalating Management and Directors Liabilities

Next week on May 13th, I will be on a panel addressing Directors Liabilities at a session being put on by the Institute of Corporate Directors. I’d encourage you to attend. The session will cover strategies for directors to limit their liabilities by making sure they take appropriate steps, by not only fulfilling their fiduciary duties, but also ensuring they have appropriate liability insurance coverage to protect themselves (register).

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