Better Business Practice

At the end of the RMIA Enterprise Risk Management course that I designed and run with my colleague, Lauren Jones, the last quarter hour is an opportunity to ask questions and to note some of the key learnings and actions that will be taken by participants. At the end of the most recent course we listened to one of the participants describing how they liked the idea of using simpler, more business-like language rather than Risk Speak.

However, they raised a very valid point. Because of the expectations of Audit and Risk Committees, often driven by the guidelines of regulators like APRA and ASIC here in Australia, the absence of risk language is suddenly, a problem.

As is often the case in the course, people share ideas easily and another participant explained that at her work, in addition to formal policies, frameworks and formal procedures, they also designed and rolled out a “layman’s” guide or playbook. They would use simple language for describing things like the design and testing of a control, or what could easily be called “better business practice”.

Good risk management is better business. It just makes sense. Unfortunately we have managed to over complicate things, develop a new language that others need to learn if we don’t translate what we want into their language. Something I have written extensively on in my blogs and in my book Persuasive Advising: How to Turn Red Tape into Blue Ribbon.