Thousands of audit, risk, sustainability, and compliance professionals tuned in virtually for Audit & Beyond 2022, AuditBoard’s fourth annual user conference, joined by hundreds who attended the event in person at Terranea Resort in Los Angeles, CA. Several key themes emerged across thought leadership sessions, many of which grappled with the challenges organizations face in today’s dynamic business environment and the need for an integrated, data-driven approach to managing risk.
Watch the conference highlights below, read our top takeaways from some of the keynote sessions, and continue the conversation by registering for our ongoing thought leadership webinar series.
A Connected Risk Model Is Key to Close the Business Resilience Gap
In the year since AuditBoard introduced the concept of the business resilience gap at Audit & Beyond 2021, the velocity and breadth of risk continues to increase, with new economic and geopolitical realities as well as ESG becoming a greater area of focus for regulators, investors, and consumers. AuditBoard’s 2022 executive keynote explored challenges stemming from the expansion of risk to new areas, and how a connected risk model can provide the holistic view of risk needed to empower business leaders to prioritize appropriately and take action effectively.
“In a connected risk model, rather than approaching risk as something to eliminate or even prohibit, you now have a mandate to actively optimize the risk/value trade off for your organization.” – Scott Arnold, President and CEO of AuditBoard
Today’s challenges defy a siloed approach to managing risk. To best protect and create value in a world that moves at digital speed — where risks can emerge without warning — audit, risk, sustainability, and compliance teams are leveraging modern approaches supported by a connected risk platform with a unified data core. During the executive keynote, AuditBoard announced a new ESG solution purpose-built to operationalize ESG programs by automating manual tasks, simplifying framework reporting and disclosures, and ensuring ESG data is audit-ready. This newest extension of AuditBoard’s connected risk platform continues AuditBoard’s mission to extend the front lines by engaging business owners and third parties; elevate your impact by empowering your teams to be more productive and employee-first in their experience; and connect insights and data across the organization by building bridges across your teams to provide greater insights and clarity.
Risk Management Is a Means — Not an End
No organization exists simply to protect itself, it exists to create value for its stakeholders. Thus, as Richard Chambers, AuditBoard’s Senior Internal Audit Advisor, considered in his keynote on Five Risk Imperatives for 2023, the mission for audit, risk, and compliance professionals must involve not only protecting, but also creating value — which requires remembering that risk management isn’t itself “success.” It’s a means to an end.
“Risk management is not the ends — it is the means to helping your company achieve its objectives. We’ll always have a mission to protect value, but we’ve got to become more comfortable with offering solutions that help achieve outcomes.” – Richard Chambers
Risk management is how we help our organizations create and protect value, and risk bedlam is no time to keep our heads down. It’s time to step up, speak out, and find more ways to collaborate on risk management. Most of all, Chambers encouraged, it’s time to augment hindsight and insight by offering the foresight our organizations need.
Move From Expecting the Unexpected to Embracing the Unexpected With Connected Risk
Two forces that emerged during the pandemic – operational disruption and digital acceleration – will govern the challenges you face in your businesses. In his keynote, John Wheeler, former Gartner IRM analyst and AuditBoard’s Senior Advisor, Risk and Technology, delved into what is necessary for successful businesses to minimize the size and scope of disruptions while maximizing the speed and pace of digital growth. As business becomes accustomed to the mantra of “expect the unexpected,” leaders are looking for answers.
“By connecting risk, you’ll go beyond simply expecting the unexpected to embracing the unexpected — being prepared to speed through the turns and be at a greater advantage.” – John Wheeler
Connected risk is the combination of people and technology in managing risks, providing greater visibility and understanding into those risks to enable superior business decision-making. John Wheeler painted a picture of an evolution from today’s connected risk dashboard to tomorrow’s future risk windshield, with a heads-up display of future risk scenarios and impacts helping you to navigate the twists and turns that lie ahead.
Culture Is a Collection of Behaviors — Build Yours on Values.
How can organizations create a winning, engaged culture that attracts top talent, fosters productive internal partnerships, and drives optimal performance? Corporate culture innovator Ann Rhodes shared keys to creating a values-based, socially responsible culture, developed during her years of experience building exceptional teams at JetBlue, Southwest Airlines, and other companies known for their trailblazing corporate cultures.
“Consciously design your culture. Don’t just let it happen. Understand that there is a systematic approach to culture just as in everything else you do.” – Ann Rhodes
You can’t create a culture by putting some words on the wall. Ann Rhodes shared her view that culture is a collection of behaviors of an organization, and walked through how successful organizations create cultures based on values-driven behaviors. First, be intentional in designing your values to create a blueprint for your culture. Select and retain “A” players who mirror those values — you can teach competencies, but you can’t teach values. Hold each other accountable for living by your values and getting the right results in the right way. The long term goal is to build a sustainable, engaged culture where everyone knows the company’s values and feels empowered to act on them to drive organizational success.
For all the audit, risk, sustainability, and compliance professionals who joined us at Audit & Beyond in person or virtually, we hope that you left energized, inspired, and equipped with actionable insights you can bring back to add value to your organizations. Thank you to all of our speakers, sponsors, and attendees — we invite you to continue the learning and conversation with AuditBoard’s ongoing thought leadership webinar series.