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Reputation Risk

Could a focus on reputation risk promote all-round more effective enterprise risk management?

Recent events at Thomas Cook has highlighted, in exceptional and tragic circumstances, where failures in Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) and especially Safety Management Systems (SMS) led to the very worst outcome in any risk management plan: serious injury and multiple fatalities.


As a direct result of oversights in effective risk management within their organisation, as well as an avoidable loss of life, Thomas Cook's reputation has taken a nose dive which was exacerbated by their ill-advised response to the incident. Indeed, Thomas Cook is now in a form of crisis management mode – trying to mitigate the effect of recent events on their reputation, post occurrence - all down to a single low probability, high impact event.


This article however, does not aim to critically analyse the loss of reputation in such circumstances, nor does it intend to criticise Thomas Cook; it instead endeavors to learn from maladaptive methods in large-scale management within enterprises, and tries to promote an all round increased focus on how reputation risk awareness, prior to an undesired event occurring, can lead to much better enterprise risk management, and hopefully reduce the prevalence of similar events erupting in the future.

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