OSU research institute leads nationwide initiative to curb distracted driving

The Risk Institute at The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business is leading a nationwide initiative comprised of dozens of companies, government entities, and researchers seeking to combine leading-edge research with industry expertise in order to predict and curb distracted driving behaviors. The project officially kicked off on Wednesday, February 22 at a roundtable discussion at The Fisher College of Business. 

“Distracted driving is an epidemic across the country. Every day you hear ‘distracted driving is killing people,’ and it is, but nothing is being done to figure out how to stop it,” says Phil Renaud, Executive Director of the Risk Institute. “That’s why we started this initiative — to create actionable change.” 

The number of fatal traffic accidents rose 7.2 percent nationally in 2015 according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. It is the greatest year-over-year increase since 1966. Distracted driving was a factor in about 10 percent of auto deaths; the exact percentage is difficult to determine due to privacy rules and other factors.

“Nationwide Insurance has a long history of promoting safety for our members,” says Larry Thursby, Vice President of Personal Auto Product and Pricing at Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.  “We recognize that distracted driving is an issue and we’re looking forward to working with a team of professionals from across the country to find solutions that protect families in every community.”

The consortium identified a three-tiered approach: research, legislation, and technology.

Michael LaRocco, president and CEO of State Auto Insurance Cos., says that collaboration is the reason partnerships between industry, research, and government are crucial to a project like this saying, “This isn’t a problem that will be solved by legislation, research or technology alone. That’s why we’re working directly with researchers to apply their research to everything from car design and manufacturing to insurance, and using new technology to our advantage.”

Practical research application is a crucial component of this initiative, particularly behavioral research. 

“Understanding what makes people do what they do is the first step to changing that behavior,” says Ellen Peters, Professor of Psychology at The Ohio State University. “At a dangerous curve in the UK, for example, they played with drivers’ peripheral vision.  As drivers approach the curve, they see trees planted next to the road at decreasing distances apart. This funnel of trees creates a visual illusion that tricks drivers into feeling as if they’re speeding. As a result, people slow down.”

Renaud highlighted the Risk Institute’s involvement in bringing this project and all the involved partners together saying, “We are uniquely positioned to facilitate valuable conversation between academics and practitioners. The Risk Institute is rooted in research, dedicated to education, and committed to collaboration. This initiative is the perfect amalgamation of those values, and we are so excited to get started.”

Industry partners involved with the project are Honda Inc., Aon Benfield, Nationwide, NiSource, Ford, Motorists Insurance, DHL, State Auto, Freer Logic, True North and others. Representing the legal and governmental branches are the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Ohio Department of Insurance. Ohio-based Root Insurance, Smart Drive, Greenroad, and eDriving Fleet make up the technology voices in the conversation. A dozen researchers and thought leaders from OSU representing behavioral science, engineering, automotive research, risk and others make up the research arm of the initiative.

Risk Institute board chair elected chair of Risk Management Association

Helga Houston, chief risk officer at Huntington and chair of the board at The Risk Institute, was elected chair of The Risk Management Association (RMA). Her one-year term began September 1, 2016.

Helga Houston speaks at Risk Institute Annual Conference 2016

Helga Houston speaks at Risk Institute Annual Conference 2016

Helga Houston is past vice chair of RMA’s Board of Directors.

Houston has over 30 years of diversified banking experience in risk management, business development, and client relationships. Prior to joining Huntington, she held positions with Bank of America, Crocker National Bank, and Home Federal Savings and Loan.

Houston earned her bachelor’s degree from Westmont College and her MBA from the University of Southern California.

About RMA

Founded in 1914, The Risk Management Association is a not-for-profit, member-driven professional association whose sole purpose is to advance the use of sound risk management principles in the financial services industry. RMA promotes an enterprise approach to risk management that focuses on credit risk, market risk and operational risk. Headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, RMA has 2,500 institutional members that include banks of all sizes as well as nonbank financial institutions. They are represented in the Association by 18,000 individuals located throughout North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia/Pacific.

About The Risk Institute

The Risk Institute at The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business exists to bridge the gap between academia and practice. The Institute is a collection of forward-thinking companies and academics that understand effective risk management strategies not only protect firms, but position firms to create growth and value. The Institute operates in a unique intersection between our faculty, students, and professionals from a broad cross-section of industries.  With our leading-edge approach to risk management, The Risk Institute creates a space for risk-centered conversations, ideas, and strategies that are unlikely to happen anywhere else.

This release originally published on Sept. 6, 2016.

3 things you need to know to succeed in risk

Panelists from the Women. Fast forward panel at this year's annual conference

Panelists from the Women. Fast forward panel at this year’s annual conference

Disruption and gender diversity are two of the biggest topics facing business leaders today. Both issues are critical to the future of every industry. And they’re closely connected.

The best way to navigate disruption is to harness the power of diverse thinking by enabling people with different experiences, ideas and knowledge to come together in an inclusive culture. Gender diversity is a critical part of the equation. Not only this, gender diverse leadership is proven to increase the skills businesses need to navigate the disruptive trends transforming their industry.

So what does this mean?

If a person, or company, wants to succeed in mitigating risk, they must embrace gender diversity at every level.

In short, everyone benefits from thinking like a woman.

  • “You need to get comfortable being uncomfortable” — Jessica Jung, Director, Oswald Companies

Achieving success isn’t something that just happens to a person. It requires a lot of hard work, tough choices, and generally being willing to put yourself out there— trying something new.

  • Have an entrepreneurial spirit

No matter if you’re the intern grabbing Starbucks for your department or a C-suite executive, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. When approaching any situation, don’t come to the meeting and just point out the risks — offer real solutions.

  • Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.

Every panelist punched this point home — communicate with everyone, from your spouse to your organization and boss. By being an open communicator, you project to others that you are confident, open to compromise, and available.

Each year, The Risk Institute at The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business hosts an annual conference that brings together thought leaders, industry experts, and academics to engage in a dialogue about the latest trends in risk management. This year the conversation focused around governance, culture, and the vital role women play in the field.

One of the Institute’s founding member’s, EY, cosponsored a panel spring-boarding their Women. Fast forward initiative, which aims to accelerate the achievement of gender parity in business.

The Risk Institute will continue this conversation and others through this year’s Risk Series.

Governance and culture take center stage at The Risk Institute’s Annual Conference

Conversation surrounding governance and culture recently took center stage at The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business, as The Risk Institute explored the impacts of the two key aspects of business at its Annual Conference. The two-day conference brought together Risk Institute members, business leaders, experts and faculty thought leaders from Fisher for an in-depth examination of the risk management and strategic implications of governance and culture.

Phil Renaud and Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams discuss maintaining culture through crisis.

Phil Renaud and Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams discuss maintaining culture through crisis.

Considering the various sides of governance and culture is critical to understanding how to leverage risk management to create value for an organization. The conference featured four keynote speakers, Gordon Bethune, former CEO of Continental Airlines; Cameron Mitchell, founder and CEO of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants; Randall Kroszner, former Governor of the Federal Reserve System; and David Gebler, author of best-selling book The 3 Power Values.

Bethune opened the conference and focused on his experience turning around Continental Airlines over a decade, which is detailed in his book, From Worst to First. He emphasized the importance of building accountability between employees and the organization saying, “What gets measured and rewarded, gets done.”

Mitchell is a self-described serial entrepreneur who understands that taking risks is necessary to be successful in business saying, “I may shoot myself in the foot and walk with a limp, but I’ll never shoot myself in the head and make a fatal mistake.”

Academic Director Isil Erel speaking at Annual Conference 2016.

Academic Director Isil Erel speaking at Annual Conference 2016.

During his time with the Federal Reserve System and as a professor of economics at the University of Chicago, Kroszner never imagined he would be helping guide America’s economy through the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. He discussed the potential ramifications of the Fed keeping interests rates at historic lows since 2008 saying, “When your short-run policy becomes a long-run policy, you will always run into unintended consequences.”

Named one of America’s top Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior, Gebler is an innovator of new approaches that integrate culture, ethics, values and performance. His talk detailed how to know if your organization’s culture is a risk factor utilizing the three power values— integrity, transparency and commitment.

In addition to the keynotes, the third-annual conference brought together business leaders and experts for a series of RISKx presentations and panel discussions on women in risk, governance and culture related to business. The culture discussion explored  employees’ attitudes toward risk, mergers and acquisitions, maintaining culture through crisis, and emerging risks in the energy industry.

The Risk Institute’s Executive Education Series will resume November 15 with a discussion on Political Risk.

 

From Risk to Resilience: Find (& Overcome) Your Company’s Weakest Link

resilient bud

Don’t fall through the cracks — grow through them.

In an interconnected, volatile, global economy, supply chains have become increasingly vulnerable. Disruptions — even minor shipment delays — can cause significant financial losses for companies and substantially impact shareholder value. Globalization has made anticipating disruptions and managing them when they do occur more challenging. The potential risks of disruptions are often hidden, and the potential impacts may not be understood, which often results in black swan events – events that can only be fully understood after the fact.

Over the last seven years, researchers at The Ohio State University have been exploring the concept of enterprise resilience, i.e. how companies can prosper in the face of turbulent change by being able to recognize, understand, and compensate for vulnerabilities.

The result is the SCRAM (supply chain resilience assessment and management) framework, which enables a business to identify and prioritize the supply chain vulnerabilities it faces, as well as the capabilities it should strengthen to offset those vulnerabilities.

Six Vulnerabilities You Need to Know About

Every business has its vulnerabilities, and most of the time those vulnerabilities are inherent to the business and difficult to avoid, but by recognizing them, you’ll be better equipped to deal with disruptions as they happen.

1. Turbulence

Definition: Environment characterized by frequent changes in external factors beyond the company’s control

Examples: Unpredictability in demand, fluctuations in currencies and prices, geopolitical disruptions, natural disasters, technology failures, pandemics

2. Deliberate threats

Definition: Intentional attacks aimed at disrupting operations or causing human or financial harm

Examples: Terrorism and sabotage, piracy and theft, labor disputes, special interest groups, industrial espionage, product liability

3. External pressures

Definition: Influences, not specifically targeting the company, that create business constraints or barriers

Examples: Competitive innovation, government regulations, price pressures, corporate responsibility, social/cultural issues, environmental, health and safety concerns

4. Resource limits

Definition: Constraints on output based upon availability of the factors of production

Examples: Raw material availability, utilities availability, human resources, natural resources

5. Sensitivity

Definition: Importance of carefully controlled conditions for product and process integrity

Examples: Restricted Materials, supply purity, stringency of manufacturing, fragility of handling, complexity of operations, reliability of equipment, safety hazards, visibility of disruption to stakeholders, symbolic profile of brand, customer requirements for quality

6. Connectivity

Definition: Degree of interdependence and reliance on outside entities

Examples: Scale and extent of supply network, import/export channels, reliance on specialty sources, reliance on information flow, degree of outsourcing

So in the face of all these disruptions, what’s the answer?

Answer: resilience.

Resilience is the capacity of an enterprise to survive, adapt and grow in the face of turbulent change.

Resilience means improving the adaptability of global supply chains, collaborating with stakeholders and leveraging information technology to assure continuity, even in the face of catastrophic disruptions.

Resilience goes beyond mitigating risk; it enables a business to gain competitive advantage by learning how to deal with disruptions more effectively than its competitors and possibly even using those disruptions to its advantage.

Resilient systems don’t fail in the face of disturbances; rather, they adapt.

 

Article adapted from “From Risk to Resilience: Learning to Deal with Disruption,” by Joseph Fiksel, Mikaella Polyviou, Keely L. Croxton, and Timothy J. Pettit.

The Risk Institute at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business exists to bridge the gap between academia and corporate America. By combining the latest research with the real-world expertise of America’s most forward-thinking companies, the Risk Institute isn’t just reporting risk management’s current trends — it’s creating tomorrow’s best practices.

Risk Culture Plays a Critical Role in the Financial Services Industry

Risk Institute Portraits Fisher Hall - Third Floor Feb-02-2016 Photo by Jay LaPrete ©2016 Jay LaPrete

By  Philip S. Renaud II, MS, CPCU
Executive Director, The Risk Institute
The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business

 


The Risk Institute at The Ohio State University held the first in a series of breakfast sessions that focused on Risk Culture in the Financial Services Industry.

The session was moderated by The Risk Institute Academic Director Dr. Isil Erel who guided the discussion of the four-person panel of experts comprised of:

The session concentrated on how the financial crisis has elevated regulatory risk to a more central point in the discussion of risk management. The panel focused on how an organization’s culture is measured. Measurement can include the more traditional standard, regulatory approach with the evaluation of policies and/or process breaches to the softer side of culture that measures the “tone at the top.” The softer actions can include “raising your hand” when a process, policy and/or an ethical challenge is observed.

Panel Risk Culture Financial Institutions 3.2016

Helga Houston, Kevin Allard, Steve Chenenko, Rick Wilson

The panel went into an in-depth discourse for session attendees on how three levels of defense need to be present in an institution to evaluate the proper culture within. Those include:

  1. Business Unit oversight
  2. Risk Management oversight
  3. Auditor and/or Regulatory oversight

It is vital for all three oversights to be integrated in an organization’s risk culture. Furthermore, it is important to consistently gauge the organizational culture to evaluate if associates are doing the right thing, and whether they believe in the organization and what it stands for or if they are acting simply because they are instructed to do so.

The session proved thought-provoking and demonstrated The Risk Institute’s unique role in uniting industry thought leaders, academics and highly respected practitioners in an ongoing dialog to advance the understanding and evolution of risk management. The Risk Institute’s conversation about risk management is open and collaborative with its relevance across all industries and its potential as a tool for competitiveness and growth.


For more information about upcoming events, our students, partners or research, visit our website: fisher.osu.edu/centers/risk.