About Morgan O'Rourke

Morgan O’Rourke is editor in chief of Risk Management magazine and director of publications for the Risk & Insurance Management Society (RIMS).

Risks and Questions Surround 3D Printing Technology

NEW ORLEANS—One of the most promising new technologies to hit the wider market in recent years, 3D printing is poised to revolutionize manufacturing as we know it. Otherwise known as additive manufacturing, 3D printing allows users to print almost anything they can dream up, including toys, machine parts, clothing, food, and prosthetic (as well as actual) body parts. There even companies that can print a lifesize, 3D model of your unborn fetus using ultrasound scans.

Of course, as with any new technology, there are many risks to consider and just as many unanswered questions about how to address those risks. At an educational session this morning at the RIMS 2015 Annual Conference & Exhibition, Cynthia Slubowski, head o f manufacturing at Zurich, Lisa Cirando, and attorney with Jones Day and Toni Herwaldt, risk manager at Kraft Foods, provided a risk checklist, outlining at the wide range of risks and questions facing those in the 3D printing space and those whose industries will be impacted by this new technology:

Product risk. Since 3D printing changes the traditional manufacturing model, industries will need to determine who owns a 3D printed product and in the event of an accident how will liability be apportioned?

Technology risk. Who owns the software and designs used to create products, particularly when users can make endless customizations?

Operations risk. How will 3D printing impact power supplies (the printers generate a lot of heat during operation), and how will the possible toxicity of ingredients and their byproducts be addressed. In addition, what are the business interruption and transportation risks?

Cybersecurity risk. How do you protect you designs and formulas? How do you prevent counterfeiting?

Environmental risk. How do you address exhaust, housing and disposal issues?

Contract risk. What kind of risk transfer or licensing agreements do you want to have in place?

Insurance risk. Do you have the appropriate coverage and where will it be coming from?

Strategic risk. How do you handle reputation and intellectual property issues? What happens to your product development lifecycle management?

Supply chain risk. Does your supply chain risk increase or decrease?

Market risk. What differentiates your product? What happens to your geographical risk?

Risk Management Storytime

NEW ORLEANS—One of the biggest challenges for risk managers has always been how to engage the rest of the company in risk management activities. Too often, risk managers are considered the show-stoppers, feared by other departments for their tendency to be risk averse and shoot down every idea. So the challenge is to find a way to increase their risk awareness in such a way that they start to view risk as opportunity rather than a deterrent. According to Joachim Ademusi, director of IRMS Ltd., the key to embedding risk management into the culture of an organization lies in story telling—basically finding a way to present risk management in a context that they can relate to and even enjoy.

Speaking at an educational and interactive session at the RIMS 2015 Annual Conference & Exhibition, Ademusi stressed that risk is really a performance improvement tool. So with that in mind, it is important to change any negative perceptions about it. Risk managers should create an environment for creativity that allows all company personnel to take advantage of what risk management can do. This creative engagement requires risk managers to understand the needs and concerns of other departments and find ways to inspire them to consider risk and exchange ideas. This can be accomplished by changing the narrative that risk management is somehow bad. Ademusi recommended creating a contest among all employees to identify the risk management angles in a given scenario, with the winner receiving a gift card or some other monetary award. Or simply meeting with various individuals over lunch in an effort to better understand their concerns.

Ultimately, the idea is to make risk management less intimidating. By using stories, proverbs and parallels that don’t necessarily rely on risk terminology, risk managers can gain the trust of their colleagues and foster the understanding that good risk management will improve performance and benefit the entire organization. And once the organization embraces risk management and proactively seeks out their risk manager’s advice, Ademusi said that your career with truly become something special.


World Safety Day Spotlights Workplace Accidents

Today is World Safety Day. Supported by the International Labour Organization, the campaign is intended to focus international attention on how to create a safety and health culture in the workplace and help reduce the number of work-related deaths and injuries. UL Workplace Health & Safety created the following infographic, in order to help spotlight the scope of the problem:


Keynote Speaker Erik Wahl Demonstrates the Art of Success

Eric Wahl RIMS conference 2015NEW ORLEANS—The RIMS 2015 Annual Conference & Exhibition kicked off with a burst of creativity at the opening General Session as bestselling author and graffiti artist Erik Wahl encouraged attendees to reawaken their imaginations as they look for opportunities to improve their business.

More than just a typical lecture, Wahl demonstrated the value of creativity by painting portraits of icons like U2’s Bono and Steve Jobs as he made the case that breaking through complacency can lead to new ideas. Wahl pointed that once upon a time, we all considered ourselves artists, so much so that the scent of Crayola crayons remains one of the top 20 most recognizable scents to America adults, according to a Yale University study. The smell of crayons has even been found to reduce blood pressure by as much as 10 points, Wahl said. So with that in mind, he advised the audience to “take a drag of a Crayola” whenever they felt stressed. The real lesson, though, was that creativity is in all of us, no matter how analytical our adult selves have become.

The key is to break through the fear that prevents us from moving forward and taking advantage of opportunities. Sometimes it only requires us to look at the world with a new perspective. “If you’re not trying new things,” Wahl asked, “are you pushing hard enough?” As he completed his third portrait—this time of Albert Einstein, who once said “Imagination is more important than knowledge,”—it was clear that success really can be considered an art. All we need to do is get out our own set of crayons.

Eric Wahl RIMS 2015