Enterprise Risk and the Board of Directors

Recently, some colleagues and I worked on a board risk oversight project that resulted in interviews with numerous corporate board members about their perspective on the board’s role in enterprise risk management (ERM). During that project, one board member suggested that my next risk research project should be called “good, great, going, gone!” —a risk project about companies that thought they were doing well but somehow ended up failing. He was motivated because he served on a board of a company that went bankrupt and wondered, after the idea of ERM came along, could the company have been saved? Could management and the board have seen the risks coming? Could they have seen them sooner or understood them better?

The Future of American Success

Success has become a tricky word again in the business world. Robert Reich, a former secretary of labor and professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley, considered the paradox of success more than 14 years ago. He saw that the notion of success triggered polarizing reactions in American society, and he argued that both the critics and optimists were right.

The topic of success has resurfaced today. Since 2011, the Occupy Wall Street movement has spurred the social cry of “We Are The 99%,” causing a backlash against the top income earners in the United States and leading to an uneven yet heated debate on questions of opportunity, privilege, and power.