A Book Review: “Corporate Defense and the Value Pres..

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A Book Review: “Corporate Defense and the Value Preservation Imperative”, Sean Lyons


“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge”[1]

Stephen Hawking

Enterprise risk management (ERM) is currently experiencing a great deal of attention these days by regulators, business leaders and academics.  Much of the focus on ERM has been on promoting a specific framework or approach to implement processes that align with corporate objectives and the risk profile of the firm.  Organizations that have implemented compliance-based risk programs are now seeking to find additional value from the resources and commitments made in building ERM programs to address a host of risks brought on by increased regulation, global competition, geopolitical events and economic turmoil.

In researching competing risk framers the one consistent narrative is a consensus on the concept of ERM as a tool to create additional value to the enterprise.  This is where Sean Lyons’ book, Corporate Defense and the Value Preservation Imperative, separates its approach from the crowd.   Most ERM frameworks tell the reader “what” should be done in their risk program. Sean’s book goes much further and explains how a fresh look at Corporate Defense not only adds sustainable value but guides the reader to look deeper into the steps that must be taken to preserve the value that is created as a multiplier effect not addressed in any other framework.

Corporate Defense walks the reader through an “Integrated Perspective” that combines strategic, tactical and operational processes that culminate into the CDM Matrix.  The CDM Matrix “incorporates the critical corporate defense components and the essential lines of defense into a single framework that provides a comprehensive matrix of the required corporate defense activities at different levels within the organization”, according to Lyons.  The CDM Matrix aligns each stakeholder in corporate defense and links value preservation components that redefine sustainability and resilience in broader terms.

In simple terms, Corporate Defense fills in the gaps left by traditional ERM frameworks by providing a detailed roadmap to define objective outcomes in one’s risk program that is measurable and actionable as a benchmark for beginners and advanced risk practitioners alike.  Readers will also find that Corporate Defense can be used as a resource for risk managers in compliance, IT, and other fields providing the entire organization with a common taxonomy for embedding a culture of corporate defense.

I would recommend Corporate Defense and the Value Preservation Imperative to all serious risk professionals as a refreshing new look at enterprise risk management.

[1] Per Uncertainty Modeling and Analysis in Engineering and the Sciences, 2006, B.M. Ayyub and G.J. Klir, Chapman & Hall/CRC, Boca Raton, FL.

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