ERM AND SWARM
RISK QUOTE. Half the lies they tell about me aren’t true.
—YOGI BERRA, BASEBALL PLAYER
RISK QUOTE. Money was never a big motivation for me, except as
a way to keep score. The real excitement is playing the game.
—DONALD TRUMP, BUSINESSMAN
The value of enterprise risk management rises dramatically when a central risk function supplements the risk owners’ efforts to identify risk and opportunities. If an organization finds hidden sources of risk ideas, it can respond early to threats and move to take advantage of opportunities. The idea of scanning the horizon was enhanced by a July 2007 National Geographic article titled “The Genius of Swarms.” Two concepts stood out. First, a swarm is a large body of individual organisms that move together in the pursuit of a goal. Second, swarm theory describes efforts to understand the success of swarms.
The article started with the information that 12,000 species of ants currently live on the planet in colonies that date back 140 million years. As a behavioral trait, ants organize highways along the shortest path to the nearest food source, build elaborate nests, and stage massive raids on other creatures. Such successful behav-