Magnifor Consulting is an innovative risk leadership consultancy firm working shoulder-to-shoulder with its clients to maximise the value of uncertainties. It does this by addressing both risk management and organisational effectiveness in parallel. Adopting such a holistic approach assures that risk management principles are embedded throughout the organisation, creating long-term value for all stakeholders. Acquisition International magazine has recognised the company for being the Best Risk Management Consultancy – 2021, so we take a closer look at the company.
Magnifor’s consulting services are different in many ways.
Firstly, it focuses on balancing risk and opportunity as the two sides of the coin that underpin uncertainty. Most leaders understand that a core responsibility of leadership is avoiding or mitigating risks that jeopardise organisational goals. At the same time, leaders also know that they must take calculated risks if they want to grasp opportunities and get breakthrough results. Therefore, it is important to embrace taking the right risks at the right moment to open up the organisation to possibility. Effectively balancing these two realities will result in extraordinary success.
Secondly, Magnifor brings bottom-up insights to risk and opportunity registers from people across the entire organisation. The goal is to move from informed compliance to risk awareness, engaged compliance and critical thinking. Ultimately, this leads to an organisation regarding those on the frontline as professional partners who identify and point out risks and opportunities, providing the organisation’s leadership sufficient time to be proactive well before threats harm the company, employees, customers, or other stakeholders. It also allows them to seize opportunities well before they slip away, potentially becoming a competitive advantage for rivals.
Thirdly, Magnifor supports risk managers moving away from being siloed in solely managing risks from a top-down perspective in isolation from the rest of the organisation.
Even with all that is known today about leadership and management, one of the most untransformed areas of business is risk management. Risk managers are still perceived to be the ‘grey suits from headquarters’ unaware of the real issues of the front line. The COVID-19 crisis has further increased their separation from the frontlines, as most of them were forced to work from their home offices. Expectations of the discipline ensure their accountabilities are set up to fail. While risk managers are equipped with sophisticated tools and technology, it is absurd to expect them to provide an always-on radar, scanning the emergence of risks and opportunities at all levels of the organisation.
Currently, Magnifor observes leaders interested in having all their employees be de facto risk managers. There is a growing interest in having all employees enabled to monitor the actual level of risk and opportunity rather than rely on a static shot of what risk was identified during a risk workshop.
The post COVID-19 era offers risk managers a profound opportunity to make a difference and take leadership in guiding their companies forward in the roaring twenties of our time. Magnifor’s intent is to empower them to do just that.
So how does Magnifor make all employees risk manager? Its approach is through crowdsourcing – an increasing well-known platform in the innovation space.
Magnifor has deployed that proven practice into the space of risk management and has built its proprietary system, Risk Focus™ to make the process of crowdsourcing easy and enjoyable for clients. Why? Because there was nothing available in the market that served these goals and so, Magnifor had to invent it.
Its cloud-based digital solution, Risk Focus™ supports companies in crowdsourcing risks and opportunities. Having and utilising a few simple screens in everybody’s pocket will stimulate the sharing of uncertainties, potential issues or simply observed anomalies. It allows each individual to raise their voice and identify uncertainties that might have a potential impact on their organisation’s objectives. As some clients shared, Magnifor “democratises risk and opportunity insights”.
Risk Focus™ makes organisation-wide sharing easy and enjoyable. Uncertainties are logged in less than two minutes, which encourages all employees to contribute. In addition, the workflows enable integration into companies’ business strategy, operations, and compliance processes to drive enhanced learning and risk-informed decision making.
The system automatically aligns uncertainty management processes to the organisation’s specific goals and makes risk and opportunity identification systematic. Risk and opportunity analysis is done continuously rather than only having a static risk picture quarterly or less. The result is a dashboard on which management can see the actual level of risk and opportunity daily. Risks don’t rest, and opportunities don’t wait. And so shouldn’t risk management practices.
It is critical to include recognition and feedback. The real value behind crowdsourcing is the engagement you are able to create; making sure that people are recognised for their inputs and given feedback of what was appreciated engages them further in the company and its objectives. In crowdsourcing, every voice counts and must have an equal weight.
And so, together with its clients, Magnifor designs and builds uncertainty management approaches ensuring that the right people see risks and opportunities at the right time, enabling teams to act with skill and confidence and extend the boundaries of what is possible in their response strategies. That is how a company builds resilience in the roaring twenties of our times.
Magnifor is led by co-founder and CEO, Marischa van Zantvoort, who started her career in management consulting and commercial roles before joining Philips, the Dutch multinational corporation headquartered in Amsterdam in 2009, where she served as an executive business leader for ten years with a start as a chief auditor. From there, she held leadership roles in customer service, commercial operations, sleep and respiratory care, and served in a leading role in the divestment of Philips Lighting. In her last role at Philips, Marischa was the chief commercial officer for the Philips Healthcare Informatics business.
Speaking about risk culture within businesses, Marischa says, “Let me debunk the myth that having a risk culture means avoiding risks. Most companies with a risk culture are likely taking more risk than less or prevent them. They are comfortable being uncomfortable and embrace risks. They can do that because of two main reasons. One: they see the threats and chances coming their way rather than being surprised by them. Two: they have more insight into the uncertainties. With that, they can respond faster to early and even weak signals that inform them. They don’t need to predict the future; they are creating it.
“Leaders who seek breakthrough results must embrace the uncomfortable truth: most risks and opportunities their organisation will register in the coming year are already known by somebody in their organisation today. Knowing these in their earliest stages gives leaders a head-start in response strategies. As William Gibson wrote, ‘The future is already here, it’s just not evenly distributed yet.’
“Another risk out there is that ‘risk management is so 2019’. Yes, risk management as we knew it. The world moved on and so should the discipline of risk management. Most leaders that I speak with recognise that risk management was there to satisfy regulators. And these practices had no value beyond compliance. Now leaders want risk management to focus on better decision making to get to business success. The purpose of risk management must go beyond just compliant. The ‘why?’ of risk management is not managing risks as such. It is about people learning to make better decisions and so contribute to business success.”
To make a real impact, risk management must be integrated with organisational effectiveness, but little has been done so far to connect these two worlds – and this must change.
Risk management in the decade ahead requires a bold, new approach that integrates organisational effectiveness with their human resources. Leaders who wish to create a new level of performance in their organisations need a risk culture that includes all workers in the organisation.
Like every consulting firm, Magnifor’s people are the most important asset, and it practices what it preaches: when working in teams, every voice counts and gets an equal weight. For example, everyone contributes to interviewing candidates regardless of levels of seniority and years of work experience. When Magnifor recruits people, it is looking for specific skills and competencies in the area of transformation and risk management, of course, but also industrial experience is beneficial.
Magnifor is looking for people with an evidenced ability to challenge the status quo and inspire action and transformation. And, most importantly, it is always looking for candidates with grit; passion and perseverance, and an unremitting eagerness to contribute to the success of the company’s clients.
Meanwhile, a prominent topic in conversations today is the emerging concern about “The Great Resignation”. Post-COVID, employers are finding employees leaving their company in droves. They are not leaving because of how they were treated by their employers, rather, they are leaving because of how they were not treated. The work Magnifor does will re-energise the employee’s bond with their company’s goals. And with that, it is a leveraged way for an employer and leader to show their people that they are taken seriously way beyond the cliché, “I hear you”. Introducing Magnifor’s approach shows a willingness to actively listen, and a means to immediately and effectively act on what’s being shared.
To activate this with and for its relations, Magnifor has created the Risk Leadership Society. It is a community of practice discussing aspects of risk management, transforming culture, and getting to a Risk Leadership Mindset™. Modernising risk management seems simple but may not be easy. Compare it to losing weight: eat less, move more. Sounds simple, right? But not appreciating the challenges one takes upon his or herself is a mistake and may lead to disappointment. Therefore, Magnifor’s intent is to team up like-minded great thinkers who want to push the curve of risk management transformation rather than running behind the future.
Executives across multiple industries will be invited to explore and walk this new talk while sharing experiences, best practices, and failures in a safe collaborative environment. When you want to go fast, go alone, but when you want to go far, go together. Participation in these sessions is still available.
Contact Details (To Be Published)
Company: Magnifor Consulting
Contact: Marischa van Zantvoort