In Riskonnect’s 2016 Q3 newsletter, there is an article that begins with this statement: 
“Thus far, 2016 has been an exciting year because a long predicted but never realized phenomenon is suddenly and rapidly becoming a reality. I’m referring to the 30-year desire among risk management professionals to break out of the box known as ‘insurable risk’ and move into true risk management.”

If you are still skeptical of this statement, you might be interested in a new report just issued by CNN Money on the 100 Best Jobs in America.

Coming in at #2 is “Risk Management Director!” You read that right … NUMBER TWO. So, after 40 years of struggle, we can finally break a smile that our industry has managed to push the proverbial “rope up the hill” and begin a journey of visibility and relevance that years ago appeared to be only a pipe dream. By the way, it is not a coincidence that a recent survey of CEOs asking about the #1 thing that keeps them awake at night found that “risk” was the leader by a huge margin.

So what’s going on here? Why the meteoric rise in the prestige of the risk manager? Without conducting a scientific study, I’ll offer a few observations gleaned from 32 years immersed in the risk management industry.

RIMS – Our industry is blessed with one of the strongest and cohesive trade associations in all of American business. The tireless work of this organization is amazing.  One of the things I’ve noticed about RIMS is a selfless drive for excellence that focuses on maximum benefit for all members.

Thanks to the work of the Spencer Foundation and some great advances in our universities, risk management is no longer an afterthought. It is now a prestigious and sought after degree attracting some of the most talented students found on campus. For 10+ years now, college risk management programs have been raising the talent level of risk management across the board.

Now let’s combine these first two observations with another quote from the Riskonnect 2016 Q3 newsletter: “As our world gets crazier and the speed of business gets absolutely supersonic, innovative organizations often find themselves on the ‘bleeding edge’ where bad things are bound to happen. Until now, the winners were those that got lucky and beat the statistical odds of imminent doom. But there is finally recognition by the board and the C-suite that future winners are not the lucky, but those who plan for every eventuality and manage their risks better than the other guy.”

In other words, the convergence of top notch thinkers entering the risk management industry and the organization’s need for innovative solutions to the dilemma of business speed makes risk management one of the most critical disciplines in all of business.

And finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the role of technology in this transformation. Until 8 or 9 years ago, risk management languished with the albatross of weak technology weighing it down. That changed when Riskonnect entered the fray with a whole new paradigm, allowing risk managers to move past the mundane and innovate in ways that finally brought forth their true potential.

At Riskonnect, we call it the “life change vision.” It is satisfying to see CNN Money affirm that vision.