“Board meetings today aren’t just about strategy or financial performance,” Glaser said. “They are more about risk than any other factor. What that means [for our industry] is that our position at the boardroom table of our clients has been elevated … we are now fully engaged with the C-suite.”
Glaser said that cyber issues, climate, COVID-19, ESG factors and a changing world order are all part of the current risk landscape, as well as macro issues such as inflation and slowing GDP.
“These are all constant, simultaneous challenges that our clients are facing, and our role is to provide the most effective solutions,” he said.
Glaser said that such a challenging environment demands the development of innovative strategies that address each risk in a way that’s tailored to the client’s unique needs.
“The potential for product innovation that this creates is very significant,” he said. “Risks may be more frequent and the challenges greater than they have been for the last 20, 30 or 40 years, but equally there is a greater level of opportunity than at any time during that period.”
However, Glaser said that companies needed to cultivate cultures that encouraged new ways of thinking in order to achieve the scale and speed of product development required.
“Our business is fundamentally a people business,” he said. “And as a people business, we need to ensure we are creating a sense of belonging and a culture in which people feel that they are able to speak up – one which recognizes that there is always a smarter way of doing things and acknowledges that there is no innovation without dissent.
“I can tell you that stability and maintaining the status quo is not an option,” Glaser said. “Countries, companies, and individuals are either growing, striving, creating and improving, or they are eroding and deteriorating.”
Glaser urged the industry to put the interests of clients first, and for leaders to keep their companies agile and innovative.
“Our industry is facing a slew of challenges, and it is going to take some level of agitation to confront these, because this is an industry that has a tendency to settle in,” he said. “I would say to each of you, don’t let this happen on your watch.”