“Today’s board meetings are not just about strategy or financial performance,” Glaser said. They are more about risk than any other factor. What does that mean [for our industry] is that our standing at the boardroom table for our clients has been elevated…and we are now fully engaged with C-suite.”
Glaser said cyber issues, climate, COVID-19, environmental, social and institutional governance factors and a changing global order are all part of the current risk landscape, as well as macro issues such as inflation and slowing GDP.
“These are all ongoing and simultaneous challenges that our customers face, and our role is to provide the most effective solutions,” he said.
Such a challenging environment requires the development of innovative strategies that address each risk in a way that suits the unique needs of the client, Glaser said.
“The potential for product innovation this creates is critical,” he said. “The risks may be more frequent and the challenges greater than they have been in the last 20, 30 or 40 years, but there is also a greater level of opportunity than at any time during that period.”
However, Glaser said companies need to cultivate cultures that encourage new ways of thinking in order to achieve the desired scale and speed of product development.
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“Our job is basically the work of the people,” he said. “And as a business, we need to make sure that we create a sense of belonging and a culture where people feel they can speak out – a culture that recognizes that there is always a smarter way to do things and acknowledges that there is no innovation without opposition.
“I can tell you that stabilizing and maintaining the status quo is not an option,” Glaser said. “Countries, companies and individuals either grow, struggle, create and improve, or erode and decline.”
Glaser urged the industry to put customers’ interests first, and urged leaders to keep their companies flexible and innovative.
“Our industry faces a large number of challenges, and it will take a certain amount of agitation to meet them, because this is an industry that tends to settle in,” he said. “I would say to each of you, don’t let this happen to your watch.”
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