Fiorella (Fia) Iannuzzelli is an advisory director with PwC focused on enterprise resilience and risk consulting. She has more than 15 years of experience in project and program management, operations management and technology strategy development.  Fia holds an MBA from Columbia University and a BS in computer engineering from Lehigh University.   She is fluent in Spanish and is based in PwC’s New York office.

Christopher Skroupa:  How would you define resilience in the context of enterprise risk management (ERM)?

Fiorella Iannuzzelli:  At PwC, we define enterprise resilience as an organization’s capacity to address change — not only in surviving change, but in evolving and adapting to change so that it yields greater opportunity for growth. In this context, ERM and resilience are linked closely.  ERM supports an organizations’ wide view in the mitigation of known risks and disruptors by integrating them into the strategy of the organization.  We view enterprise resilience as ERM 2.0. Resilient businesses have the ability to look around the corner and proactively manage change in an adaptive and agile way – whether those risks are known or unknown beforehand.

Skroupa:  How can companies use innovation in their thinking around risk management?

Iannuzzelli:  By definition, enterprise resilience requires innovation and innovative thinking to manage disruptors and change. Innovation is key to building this adaptive capacity and relevance for companies.  Organizations that have clearly defined and identified what their business purpose and objectives are can use innovation as a way to evolve through change while maintaining alignment to their core strategy.

Skroupa:  What do you consider to be the range of risks faced by companies today and how can innovation help mitigate them?

Iannuzzelli:  There is a wide range of risk factors and disruptors that are specific to different industries, but across the board, there are five megatrends that will have an impact on companies across industries:

  • demographic and social change
  • shifts in global economic power
  • rapid urbanization
  • climate change and resource scarcity
  • technological breakthroughs

Skroupa:  Innovation is often considered the core of competitive advantage and profitability. When discussing resilience, it is often defined in terms of surviving potential threats. Are they mutually exclusive, or to what extent do they work together?

Iannuzzelli:  When we talk about enterprise resilience, we define it as the ability of a corporation to not only react to change and events in order to survive, but to evolve and capture opportunities and growth.  In this framing, innovation is a key component of resilience as it supports the creation of adaptive capacity and agility. Innovation is an integral part of companies being able to emerge from the “other side” of an event in a stronger position.

Skroupa:  How does innovation in an operational context coordinate with technology?

Iannuzzelli:  Innovation and technology should be aligned in their purpose to support the objectives of the company.  In the context of enterprise resilience, both innovation and technology support cohesiveness in the organization and should be used to deliver on the overall business strategy.

Serhat Cicekoglu, Director of Loyola University Chicago, Quinlan School of Business, Center for Risk Management adds: “The field or enterprise resilience is at its infancy and practitioners are starting to recognize the role of innovation in building resilience capacity in an organization. History is filled with many cases where the perfect storm of disruption or competition that ended the life of a corporation is no different than a natural disaster that tears apart a facility or a city. Today there are just too many forms of disruption in motion, and they are more powerful and fast. Change is fact. Years ago we have talked about industry cycles in decades, now we observe cycles as short as a year, or even less. Without properly trained innovation muscle, I am not sure how an organization can sustain itself for the long run. Those who have not realized this vital need are falling, all the time.”

On January 28th, Loyola University Chicago, Quinlan School of Business, Center for Risk Management will host it’s second Executive Dialogue Series seminar program on Innovation: Building Company Resilience. Continue the discussion with Fia Iannuzzelli, Serhat Cicekoglu, Director of Quinlan’s Center for Risk Management and a select group of 25-35 company executives and internationally renowned experts on resilience. To inquire about attending, contact