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Set Your 2009 Risk Management Goals Now!!
December Risk Management Tip of the Month
By Kevin M. Quinley CPCU, ARM AIC, AIM, ARe

Claims Software

To visit the season to . . . set risk management goals for the next year!

Admittedly, December is an extremely busy time of year for risk professionals. There are insurance renewals, end of year projects, and all those holiday receptions to attend! Amidst the hostile and bustle, however, it is extremely important for risk managers to avoid the risk of professional stagnation and obsolescence by reflecting on what they want to accomplish in the following year.

The key is not only to ponder but to get as specific and as quantitative as possible in formulating your 2009 professional goals. Further, it is essential to write these goals down and to self assess progress toward these goals on a weekly or at least monthly basis. Here are some examples of areas where many risk managers can elevate their games by formulating goals for the new year:

  • Cost of risk goals. What are your financial cost targets for insurance premiums by line of coverage?
  • Coverage enhancements. Can you identify five specific ways to broaden your coverages over the next year?
  • Plugging holes. Are there aspects of the organization’s risk that you are overlooking that you can focus on in 2009?
  • Vendor management. Are you 100% satisfied with the service, cost and results of your broker, TPA, actuary, safety consultants, etc.? How can you motivate them to elevate their game?
  • Internal communication. What more can you do organizationally in communicating to upper management the goals and accomplishments of risk management? In what new ways can you demonstrate the added value of the risk management function? Internal newsletters? Brown bag lunch briefings? Corporate case studies?
  • Professional R&D. What new risk management skills are you specifically planning to build upon in 2009? Do you plan to pursue continuing education designations? ARM? CRM? Are there specific courses or seminars that will help you shore up weaknesses in your skill sets or strengthen specific areas of technical knowledge?
  • Networking. Times are tight. What is your contingency plan if your company decides to eliminate or outsource the risk management function? Are you adequately networking? Is your résumé current? Are you maintaining regular friendly contact with two or three headhunters? Are you visible within your local risk management community? Do you attend local RIMS chapter meetings? Do you use social networking tools such as LinkedIn to expand your network? Do you stay in touch with your professional contacts as opposed to reaching out to them only when you have a need? Dig your well before you’re thirsty!

This is not intended to be in all-inclusive list. Customize it to what is important to you. The purpose is to simply stimulate your own thinking in pondering the year ahead and in formulating specific goals related to your effectiveness as a risk manager. While you are busy with end of year renewals and Christmas shopping, carve out time in December to think about your 2009 goals, decide upon your goals, reduce your goals to writing and devise a system monthly or weekly to gauge your progress toward attaining these goals.

This exercise plus regular follow-through will help launch you on a successful 2009!

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