RiskNZ's David Turner on the "great opportunity" to keep learning

RiskNZ's David Turner on the "great opportunity" to keep learning | Insurance Business New Zealand

RiskNZ's David Turner on the "great opportunity" to keep learning

This article was produced in partnership with RiskNZ. Insurance Business sat down with David Turner (pictured), managing director of RiskNZ, to discuss the inaugural Risk & Resilience New Zealand Summit happening next year.

“If you know your risks, you can have great success.”

Those were the words of David Turner when Insurance Business spoke with the RiskNZ managing director about the “great opportunity” for risk professionals in New Zealand to keep learning more about risk management and how they can use it as an enabler.

Referring to the 2022 Risk & Resilience New Zealand Summit, Turner said: “I’m really excited about the summit, because we’re really touching on subjects that have been close to my heart for many, many years, and close to the hearts of people who work around me. The interest in good risk management is really increasing, and now that people are understanding there are many different aspects of risk management they want to learn more about it.”

RiskNZ is no stranger to conferences, but next year’s gathering – which has gone on to become a two-day event – is proving to be different. First off, its ‘summit’ designation was a conscious choice.

“We’ve had conferences for the past 20 years,” noted Turner, “which have always been successful and touched on different subjects, but now we have the chance to really look at what is on people’s minds, how to approach an uncertain future, and how to learn more as we all move toward 2022.

“The summit next year is really shaping up to be what New Zealand hasn’t seen yet with risk, and it’s truly on top of all those risk subjects that people are asking for, they’re interested in, and they really want to learn more about. So, what we’ve done is compile and collect all of those into speaking sessions and also some workshops.”

Key themes include resilience as a strategy; leadership and risk culture; board approaches to risk; managing project risk; climate and environmental risk; reputation and risk; cultural risk; cybersecurity; and embedding organisation-wide risk literacy and awareness.

The March summit, which is produced in partnership with events & training firm Brightstar, will also feature the 2022 New Zealand Risk Excellence Awards.

Lifting the lid on the move to hold a more comprehensive event, Turner told Insurance Business: “We’ve been talking about this for a while, as we do with our conferences. And we named this one a summit as it is much broader than our previous conferences. We decided on this about six months ago, and we’ve been working up towards it ever since, and so there’s a lot of work going on in the background.

“I think [the biggest areas of discussion] would be items such as cultural change, well-being in the workplace, and around leadership and risk. I think we’re really touching those areas of risk that haven’t been really given a lot of attention, or enough attention, but people are realising now that are very, very important to making actual risk management work. And we’ve had such a focus on parts of risk but never the complete set.”

The summit, said the MD, will be an opportunity not just to shine a spotlight on that wider risk realm, but also to introduce RiskNZ to non-members of the non-profit association.

“We welcome our loyal members, and that’s very important to us,” stated Turner, who also believes it’s important to never stop learning. “And we really enjoy seeing them there and growing with Risk New Zealand.”

“Part of the scope of this summit is to also attract new members – people who didn’t know much about us and would like to learn more about varied aspects of risk management, and now they’re seeing the opportunity through the themes we’ve collected for the summit," he continued.

“We are taking on members regularly, which is a great sign. So, total membership is increasing, and that’s good for New Zealand because it’s showing that people are joining because they want to learn more and do more things. It also shows that people have a greater interest in risk management, so that is really positive.”

Meanwhile, the organisers will be following the country’s COVID-19 Protection Framework, and in-person attendees of the “safe event” in Auckland will be required to follow COVID guidance and compliance.

As for the future of risk management, the MD had this to say: “When we look at risk now with our new focus, we can really see from small business, right up to different levels of corporate and government, that everyone needs to have an understanding of risk management at some level, and needs to know, most importantly, how to identify risk, what to do about the risk, and the biggest thing is how to communicate risk.”

“Everyone’s in the same boat when it comes to risk management, and people are starting to realise that now,” asserted Turner. “So, it opens up a great deal of opportunity for people to start learning more about risk. And, quite frankly, if you know your risks, you can have great success. It’s a really powerful tool. It’s not a limiter. What it is, is actually an enabler.

“We must look at risk management to enable where we want to go. Because when you know what’s wrong, or what’s going wrong, then you have a great opportunity to find a pathway around it, through it, and change it. So, it’s a great opportunity.”

The 2022 Risk & Resilience New Zealand Summit will take place on March 30 and 31 at Aotea Centre in Auckland. Register your interest here.

With more than two decades of risk management industry experience, Turner brings a unique blend of expertise across diverse areas with a focus on risk management of human behaviour. Prior to the New Zealand-born senior business executive’s return to NZ, he was part of the Australian Army.