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ASK THE EXPERT - What's the difference between ERM and risk management?

What's the difference between ERM and risk management?

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This is a common question that I get.  Let's distinguish the two based on practice. Most organizations do risk management, especially in government agencies. For example, there is project risk management and managers have program risk they must be concerned about. Even at the the business lines, such as HR, budget, facilities-- basically the operational areas; you will find active risk management. What you often do not find is the cross-pollination of risk information being shared through the organization.  After observing and engaging in ERM activities across multiple agencies, I can tell you with confidence, that many managers have to make a conscience decision to share information about their risk with other managers. That is where ERM can help. The intent of ERM is to elevate those siloed conversations--- into a mixing bowl of sorts, so that there is opportunity to really consider all the key risks within the organization. Based on how the ERM implementation is conducted, it should serve as that extra lift to view risk across the organization. That's the difference between risk management and ERM.

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