The Marx Brothers and Risk Assessment

From Duck Soup

Rufus T. Firefly

now, members of the cabinet…

[pounds gavel]

Rufus T. Firefly we’ll take up old business.

Cabinet Member : I wish to discuss the tariff.

Rufus T. Firefly : Sit down, that’s new business. No old business? Very well…

[pounds gavel]

Rufus T. Firefly : we’ll take up new business.

Cabinet Member : Now, about that tariff…                                                  

Rufus T. Firefly : Too late, that’s old business already. Sit down.

When a company acquires or develops a new business, risk assessment should be front and center in its plans. But that isn’t always how it works, particularly after an acquisition goes through and the acquisition becomes “old business.”

New businesses can be particularly risky for several reasons:

-The new business may operate in ways that are unfamiliar to the acquiring business.

-The key players – employees, suppliers , customers, third parties and others – may also be unfamiliar.

– The acquisition may create undue pressures to perform.

There are many ways to address challenges of this sort.  But a good starting place for many is to deal with the area in risk assessment governance documentation.

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