Big Problems are Opportunities (comments by Clayton Christensen) - An Opening for ERM Executives

This interview with Christensen points out that companies must address disruptive innovation (his first book) but his latest work also discusses problems and opportunities.

“His solution is simple, profound and right in front of your face: See big problems as big opportunities. Look for the intersection of non-consumption and what he calls “jobs that must be done.” Then create products—and processes—that serve those needs. By doing so, you’ll harness what he terms “market-creating innovation”—by far the most profitable, disruptive force in business (think electric light, iPhones and the Model T).”

For the practicing ERM executive or board member there is a valuable insight here. Look at your biggest risks on your map or register and seek the opportunity and upside of that risk instead of just identifying the risk and developing action plans. In other words, challenge management to think through the risk and find the opportunity. I’ve met one CRO that does this on their top risks in designated risk opportunity workshops.