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History Lessons Part 2

Or else, how an Opportunity takes you from the photographer's darkroom, to the bright world of cosmetics.

As a follow-up to our December History Lessons article, we're going to refer to the photography market again, but this time we're not going to talk about Polaroid's ineffective Risk Management, but Fujifilm's effective Opportunity Management.

Fujifilm was the company that developed the world's first digital camera in 1988. However, it also clearly recognized the Risk of transitioning to the new technology, because it was very specialized in analog film photography.

Fujifilm reacted on time, both defensively and offensively. On one hand they mitigated their Risks but on the other hand they also pursued their Opportunities.

The company organized itself with new products and new partnerships to adapt to the new standards of digital photography, but it didn't stop there. In 2006 it also made a "mate move". It took its expertise on film, which had become obsolete now in the photography market, and threw it into another market where it was useful and would bring in revenue! In cosmetics!

As paradoxical as it may sound, Fujifilm had conducted extensive research into technologies and materials to prevent UV oxidation, a cause of colors fading, in order to keep colors vibrant in printed photographs. But all this know-how in a filmless market would be wasted and any investment that had been made would be devalued.

That was the time when the company decided that its knowledge on analogue photography quality, could be used for skin care, because the very same oxidation from UV rays that causes fading of color photographs, also leads to the ageing of a human skin and BINGO!

Fuji Photo Film became Fujifilm and established Fujifilm Advanced Research Laboratories as a center for bringing together its technologies and seeking synergies between them.

Obviously, this transition was not easy, it required a large investment, but it worked.

Fujifilm therefore recognized the Risk of not being able to fully transition to digital photography in a sustainable manner, because it saw that developing and launching new or even technologically differentiated photography products would be very difficult and expensive, given its expertise, operating model and new competitors.

But it also recognized the opportunity of a new market, so instead of focusing only on mitigating the risk of devaluing its R&D in digital photography, it focused on applying that R&D elsewhere! Thus achieving a great return on its investment.

So it seems in practice that Risk and Opportunity are often two sides of the same coin!

In E-ON RIBIA, Opportunities are treated in their own way, similar to that of Risks. Special heatmap of impact (positive) and probability, monetization tools, linkage of Opportunity to Action plans, tools to calculate ROI of Action Plans for each Opportunity and much more.

E-On RIBIA is not a typical ERM. It gives all executives the information they need to take safe and methodical steps that ensure business sustainability in such an uncertain and constantly evolving landscape.


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