When it comes to risk, every potential scenario is on the table. Often, the most impactful situations are born from risks that were so far-fetched not even the most strategic and vigilant risk managers saw them coming.

How do you prepare for the unpredictable? By getting creative.

Following 9/11, the cast and crews of hit movies such as Die Hard and Delta Force were invited by the Pentagon to help brainstorm potential terrorist targets and schemes. This partnership between such distinct entities may seem odd, but Pentagon leaders felt fresh perspective from those who played out worst-case scenarios on the big screen would bring new ideas for addressing geopolitical risks.

They were onto something – this level of creative collaboration can uncover threats in places those in the weeds of risk management don’t think to look. But there are still risks that not even sci-fi fans or movie buffs can conjure up, which is why enterprises that pair creative risk management strategies with technology are in the best position to uncover events not always visible with the human eye.


Social media raises the stakes
Take the recent rumors that Metro Bank was shutting down, which spread across social media and sent their customers into a full panic over nothing. Social media is a powerful tool for reaching customers, but it can also be a conduit for customer backlash and conversations that can tarnish a brand’s reputation almost instantly.

In Metro Bank’s case, the lender likely never imagined that a Whatsapp rumors could result in frantic customer behavior. No matter how prepared a company is for traditional and foreseeable risks, unexpected situations are always possible.


Creatively preparing for all risks
Risk managers will never be able identify and prepare for all the potential risks out there, but that doesn’t mean calling in the actors of Avengers: End Game. Sourcing input from organizational stakeholders on where they see vulnerabilities in their respective departments and learning from situations other companies face and how they deal with them, are good starting points. Another creative strategy – similar to inviting Hollywood out for some creative brainstorming – is enlisting your management team to conjure up their worst-case scenario. NASA recently took this approach, executing a worst-case scenario simulation to demonstrate what would happen if a giant asteroid crashed into NYC.

Integrated risk management (IRM) equips risk managers to be more creative and think outside the box by offering a global view of both operational and strategic risks, tracking threats from one location to another, and mapping progress toward mitigation plans. The result: clarity on where all types of risks could lie, which are the most threatening, and how well they are being dealt with today. It also takes routine tasks and heavy lifting off the plate of risk managers, enabling them to focus on getting creative, thinking outside of the box and applying the insights to improve organizational resiliency.


Learn how Integrated Risk Management can help your risk managers think more creatively and eliminate surprises when it comes to risk.