The Board Member's Guide to Risk
“I wrote The Board Member’s Guide to Risk to be accessible. I want directors to talk more about, read more about, and have more confidence in, taking risk. Everything we do in life requires taking risk or we’re left with only a deterioration from the status quo. If we want to continue to serve those who rely on us in better ways, we want our organizations to be the best at taking risk that they can be. This book will get you started down that path or further your journey if you’ve already begun.” - David R. Koenig
All human organizations exist to take risk. Anytime we come together to try to serve some purpose or achieve some goal, we have assumed risks. If we didn’t, we’d never advance beyond the status quo. In fact, not taking risks is probably the single surest way to realize failure in the long-term as innovation, competition, and customer lethargy slowly eat away at any advantage we may enjoy today.
Good businesses take risk confidently. When we govern our organizations, we must welcome risk-taking in ways that are responsible and smart.
This book is not about risk management. That’s for the people in your organization to do. This book is about how to make boards and individual board members better at the governance of an organization’s risk-taking.This book is also like a travel guidebook to the ideas that help you to take risk well.
Finally, this book is also about recovery. As I finish my writing, the Covid-19/SARS-2 pandemic is just beginning its exponential growth in the United States and other places. We are responding, but many aspects of our economic life – sometimes the total economic life of some organizations – are frozen. How you think about and treat risk at the board level is going to impact how quickly your organization will recover from this.