In my ongoing work with risk management professionals, I've been encouraged to see how quickly the role is growing in influence and responsibility in today's business environment (even though the drivers for that elevation are often disastrous). Along those lines, I read a great article this morning in StrategicRISK, discussing the window of opportunity for risk experts, aptly entitled Keep Your Eyes on the Prize.

The article quotes the Institute of Risk Management's deputy chairman, Alex Hindson, who says that top executives and boards of directors are looking for risk management guidance, and if risk experts in their organizations can't step up to fill that role in their "window of opportunity," it will be filled instead by auditors, finance professionals, or external consultants.

In my recent engagements with Forrester's clients in risk management, I've certainly seen a lot of interest and participation from other functions in the business – most notably audit and IT. And just last week, my colleague Craig Symons published a report explaining key issues in risk management for the CIO.

I've written here several times in the past discussing the changing role and the increasing value of risk management professionals, and I don't see any reason that this trend won't continue for the next year or two. In fact, current events suggest even larger increases.

So what now? Study up on your frameworks and methodologies, and take a look at some of the available certifications and training courses related to risk management. Find or establish internal committees where you can offer your risk management expertise and exert more influence among compliance, legal, finance, lines of business, or other stakeholders. Changing the risk management culture of any organization will be tough… do what you can to lead some of these important changes.