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Managing Risk for Competitive Advantage

A Corporate Leader's Toolkit

Leading Strategically Through Risk and Uncertainty


Economic volatility, regulatory change and digital disruption are the new normal. Leaders require new ways to manage and respond dynamically to complex risks and uncertainties. Which strategic risks are critical to avoid - or essential to take? Now is the time to take a broader view beyond the traditional areas of operational, financial and compliance risk.

This programme offers a deeper understanding of the complexities of risk and its sources. Drawing upon a wider set of disciplines, we will equip you with new ways of thinking and tools to exploit risk strategically for competitive advantage. We will help you think about risk in the Cambridge way. You will be able to identify current risks and anticipate emerging risks, and to seize the opportunities hidden within them.

Why Cambridge?

  • Cutting-edge academic research from a business school with 16 research centres, including the Centre for Risk Studies. This is their flagship programme.
  • Small class sizes to intensify value and learning.
  • Focused and concentrated programme to maximise your use of time.

Corporate risk

From a risk perspective, the past decade has been traumatic, from the global financial crisis to election shocks of tectonic proportions. Professor Daniel Ralph of Cambridge Judge says not to expect the next decade to be any better, instead – plan to be surprised.

Read the article


  • Behavioural decisions and reactions - recognising innate behaviours
  • Managing behaviours in yourself and others: checklists and heuristics
  • Complex decision-making environments: components and tools
  • Disruption and scenarios: profiting from uncertainty
  • Risk management: applying frameworks to your organisation
  • Organisational structure, culture and governance
  • Catastrophe test scenarios
  • Applying frameworks to your organisations
Self-recognition: Knowing yourself, Risk-related behaviours, Decisions in volatile environments.

Strategic view: Looming business challenges; Capabilities for today; Commitments for tomorrow.

Managing the enterprise: Accountability/foreseeable risks; Operationalising risk response; Defining risk appetite.
I chose this programme because I wanted to learn what risk to businesses is all about. I thought that the CJBS programme most closely aligned with what I wanted to achieve, both personally as well as professionally.

Since completing the programme, I often find myself referring to the programme's case studies at work. I use them to bring context to conversations, and I find my colleagues can relate to their key takeaways. The cases were fascinating, and offered powerful, real-life examples of risk management at its best and worst. I was surprised at how much I could learn from risk professionals in other industries. I realised that we share many similar experiences, and I also gained brand new insights that have shaped the way I look at the world around me. I expected high-quality teaching from CJBS, but the lecturers and guest speakers exceeded my expectations. They all offered extraordinary global perspectives based on deep experience in risk management.
Dimitris Zafeiroudis, Vice President & Operations Manager, Thalatta Shipping Management


  • Develop an awareness of how risks occur in immediate and longer-term contexts
  • Learn how to manage risks to create competitive advantage
  • Take away a toolkit and a set of checklists that you can use and adapt in your own organisation

This programme counts towards the Cambridge Judge Business School General Management Certificate of Achievement. On completing the GMCA you will be eligible to become an associate member of Cambridge Judge Business School's global network of graduates and business-focused University of Cambridge alumni, faculty and staff.

I chose the programme to have my beliefs and practices - and those of my clients - challenged and improved, particularly around how we relate to 'uncertainty' and how it may affect behaviours and decision-making.

The facilitators led us through very practical approaches to understand and respond to a wide range of real challenges. This was no ivory tower theorising - I really benefited from the lessons shared by faculty and participants. Even as an experienced consultant to Board level in nationally significant organisations, this programme pushed me to realise how much more distance I need to put between risk management - even at enterprise level; use of scenarios to stress-test decision options; and the use of 'shock' scenarios which pose a risk of ruin.

This programme led me to re-design, enlarge and bring extra rigour to the approaches I now offer clients - with resoundingly positive feedback!
David Santineer, Founder & CEO, Proactive by Design

Who should attend

You will be:

  • A senior leader responsible for executing strategy, in a position to effect change, either within your strategic business unit, or on a wider level
  • A senior executive tasked with scenario planning; for example, Chief Risk Officers or executives in risk management roles
  • An executive looking to address the future challenges of the organisation
  • An executive looking to bring their team together, to scenario plan, understand and anticipate unforeseen risk
  • An executive who wishes to identify ways that the organisation can maintain competitive advantage and risk avoidance
I chose this programme as the highly uncertain environment I operate in means that developing a long-term strategy for my business is extremely difficult. The programme was a total eye-opener, providing a practical approach that everyone can use and apply immediately in their business with lots of real examples and discussion. Great tools were provided that helped me to understand how to assess and respond to uncertainty and set the best strategy for my company. The faculty on the programme were highly knowledgeable and skilled in facilitating valuable group discussions. The programme helped me to understand how I behave in uncertain environments and how to use scenario planning to anticipate unforeseen risk.
Mostafa Mizban, Executive Vice President and share-holder, Zarrin Roya
Mostafa Mizban

Faculty & speakers

Daniel Ralph

Daniel Ralph

Professor of Operations Research

PhD (University of Wisconsin)

View profile

Kishore Sengupta

Kishore Sengupta

Reader in Operations Management

MBA, PhD (Case Western University)

View profile

Dates & fees

Dates Duration Fees *
2-4 October 2019 3 days £2,995 + VAT
21-23 October 2020 3 days £2,995 + VAT

VAT is charged at the prevailing rate, which is currently 20%; e.g. £2,995 + 20% = £3,594.

* Fees include instruction, materials, lunch and breaks. Preferential rates may be available for groups, University of Cambridge alumni and members of the School's Alumni Association. Please note prices pre-registration are subject to change.

For information regarding payment terms, cancellation rights, transfer policies and fees, please see our terms & conditions documents:

Terms & Conditions for Self-funded Applicants (pdf, 233KB) (updated 31 January 2018)
Terms & Conditions for Organisation-funded Applicants (pdf, 250KB) (updated 31 January 2018)

Registration closes at midday two working days before the programme start date.

Participants are expected to attend the full programme.

Reserve a place

Our programmes are very popular and tend to fill quickly. We cap the group size at 25. It is therefore advisable to reserve a place on specific sessions. This will simply keep your place until you are able to send in the application form, and we will remain in touch with you to inform you when the programme is almost full.

Reserve a place

If you have any questions or would like to have a chat about this programme and how it could benefit you or your organisation, please get in touch with the programme advisor:

Elizabeth McDonald

Corporate Business Development Director
Tel: +44 (0)1223 765496

Access Elizabeth's profile

Elizabeth McDonald

Version 5 (30 July 2019)


3 days


2-4 October 2019
21-23 October 2020

Watch Professor Danny Ralph and Dr Kishore Sengupta's recent webinar on why it's so crucial for organisations to have a strategic perspective on risk.

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