Being the good process stewards that we are, procurement never just focuses on one topic. Instead we dynamically map how that topic interacts with the rest of the operation. Enterprise risk provides the perfect example. We don’t talk about risk, but rather risk management, risk assessment, or risk mitigation. Procurement is a function in motion – always driving forward towards the next objective.
When you look at the three verbs most commonly associated with risk – management, assessment, and mitigation – it is clear that risk is perceived as something to be avoided. Procurement’s primary objectives are to minimize the cost and operational impact associated with risks that materialize, and to put plans in place for risks on the horizon. Risk is bad, and we’re going to do our best to keep an eye on it.
What if, however, procurement was able to look at risk with a neutral eye? In reality, risks are things that we think might happen, or that are completely unexpected. We have to respond to these events and circumstances in the most optimal fashion possible. A risk is anything that causes us to deviate from ‘the plan’ and that can be unpleasant. Traditional risk management is aimed at increasing predictability and certainty because it is easier and more comfortable to make business decisions in known circumstances.
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