The Spread of Risk Management Functionitis

While many in corporate America are working to reduce the impact of the H1N1 virus on their workforce, another virus has been infecting corporations for years.  As Jack Bergstrand, Founder of Brand Velocity, Inc., explains in his recent highly regarded book, Reinvent Your Enterprise, corporations of all sizes have been suffering from what he calls “functionitis”.  Mr. Bergstrand examines how this virus has spread as more companies employ knowledge workers rather than manual workers. Knowledge workers typically organize into specialty areas within corporations based on their subject matter expertise.  This, in turn, can lead to a very bad case of “functionitis”.  Here is Mr. Bergstrand’s explanation of the virus and its possible cure.

“Functionitis” is a term for when functions become separated from the Enterprises they are supposed to support.  Functionitis is also an Enterprise example of where bad systems create bad behaviors.  It sometimes generates outright conflict.  More often, it generates less visible cross-functional productivity breakdowns driven by incompatible priorities and preferences.  A clear sign that functionitis has taken over is when one function considers itself an internal customer for another function.  With knowledge work, reducing moving parts at the top can systematically resolve many of the functionitis issues in and of itself.  It can also systematically improve the allocation of resources and accelerate Enterprise reinvention in rapidly changing markets.

Functionitis is at the core of the need for Enterprise Risk Management programs.  Not only does it impact the productivity of risk professionals across an enterprise, but also the ability for an enterprise to understand its true risk profile.  Is your company suffering from risk management functionitis and looking for a cure?  If so, Wheelhouse Advisors can help.  Visit to learn more.

reinvent your enterprise


About Wheelhouse Advisors
Wheelhouse Advisors LLC is the publisher of The ERM Current™, an online publication and blog dedicated to providing the latest updates on current trends in Enterprise Risk Management & Control. Wheelhouse Advisors provides cost-effective Enterprise Risk Management & Control solutions to both large and mid-size corporations. To learn more about Wheelhouse Advisors, please visit our web site at

One Response to The Spread of Risk Management Functionitis

  1. Nice post, nice blog, I was searching for this nowadays, thank you. I found this site on erp :

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