Off and Running

November 17, 2007

Off and Running

risk.jpgAm off and running to Switzerland tomorrow for business meetings. Therefore I wanted to get you some reputation news before I pack my bags.
 I just was handed a wonderful report from AON on risk management. The survey is among 320 respondent organizations that have revenues of nearly $1 billion or more across many sectors and all regions of the globe. The findings are astounding as to what it says about reputation. Global business executives were asked about the top 10 risks they see today. Here they are in rank order:

RankingRisk description


Damage to reputation


Business interruption


Third party liability


Distribution or supply chain failure


Market environment


Regulatory/legislative changes


Failure to attract or retain staff


Market risk (financial)


Physical damage


Merger/acquisition/restructuring Failure of disaster recovery plan

Reputation damage reigns at the top. As the AON report says, “Damage to reputation is an enterprise -wide event that can lead to negative publicity, a decline in market share and the inability to recruit and retain top talent.” And that’s only half of it. Companies with eroding reputation lose customers, investors, easy access to new markets, ability to charge a premium, goodwill from the community, benefit of the doubt in time of crisis, and the list goes on.

Even more remarkable, reputation damage is the greatest threat no matter what region of the world. The Global Risk Management Survey also found that few companies are prepared for reputation damage.

AON, thanks for this report. I can use these findings in many places for my talks and writings. It is nice to have what I believe so strongly be confirmed.

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of corporate and CEO reputations.

  • Michael Allison
    Posted at 06:33h, 18 November Reply

    This looks good for reputation specialists, but do you think communicators will still need to sell their bosses on plans for repairing or preventing potential damage to reputation?Michael

  • Dr. Leslie Gaines-Ross
    Posted at 17:28h, 22 November Reply

    Absolutely believe that communicators will find themselves spending more time safeguarding their reputation to try to avoid failure mode. It makes perfect sense to be prepared before you have cardiac arrest. Best ,lgr

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