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Common language holds promise of advancing risk management efforts: Seaman


April 24, 2017   by Angela Stelmakowich


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PHILADELPHIA – Risk managers are developing a language that translates worldwide, an advance that bodes well for both the profession and the organizations risk professionals are serving, RIMS president Nowell Seaman suggested during the opening session of the RIMS 2017 Annual Conference & Exhibition.

“Fifteen years ago, we weren’t even speaking the same language of risk around the globe,” Seaman, director of global risk management for Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc., told those assembled for the annual conference, this year being held Apr. 23-26 in Philadelphia.

Related: RIMS names Canadian risk manager Nowell R. Seaman as 2017 president

“The more we connect with viewpoints, customs, practices and procedures that are not our own, the more we evolve, the more we can move forward together,” he argued, earlier revealing the theme of his presidency.

Citing a quote from Henry Ford, Seaman said that the idea is to take action as a united force to forge a successful future.

“That’s why the theme of my presidency is moving forward together. Together we can revolutionize how our organizations perceive risk. Together we can shape the narrative about the importance of taking intelligent risks. Together we can create strategic risk practices for the benefit of organizations all over the world,” he told attendees.

Reporting that RIMS has achieved progress expanding its global reach through partnerships, conferences and events, Seaman reported that “there’s a growing appetite for new knowledge of risk management around the world.”

Still, he cautioned, “we mustn’t be complacent in our success. Let’s celebrate, but not be satisfied. Let’s enjoy the benefits of hard work and then use them to spark more new initiatives.”

Posing the question, “What role does global expansion play in your life? One word. Conversation. The future – my future, your future, our profession’s future is a dialogue, not a monologue,” Seaman emphasized.

“The world and our role in it is changing,” he pointed out. “Risk management is becoming more integral to setting strategy and creating value. Risk is no longer only about mitigating loss, but about recognizing and leveraging opportunities.”

That said, “there is and always will be strong demand for more traditional areas of risk management. Professionals in these roles are not being left behind, but rather their work is contributing to a much larger picture,” he told attendees.

“Effective risk management can be a game-changer,” Seaman said. “Our experiences, our successes and even our failures grow in value by helping others. Finding the secret to success isn’t always easy, but we can each provide a stepping stone to get there.”

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