Risk e-Views Vol 39 March 2014 – Risk Leadership: Driving Cultural Change through Engagement

So many people that  I meet for the first time from outside the risk profession have a very poor perception of risk management as a discipline. They see it as a compliance activity at best and most see it as a handbrake on business. Recently my wife described me to a new acquaintance as one of the fathers of modern risk management and the person turned to me and said, “So you are to blame!”

You and I know the value of risk management. You also know that in your organisation there are still swathes of key influencers who see risk as a compliance activity.

Adding to this, you are in a situation that because risk is still seen as compliance and a cost to business, the resources you have available to you are more than just limited, they are pretty scarce. 

If you are in agreement with me so far, then ask yourself this: “What do I need to do differently?”


I’ll give you three tips:

  1. Ask yourself (better still, ask others) “How engaging am I?” and rate yourself on a scale from 0 (that politician that was leader of the opposition for a while a few years back) to 10 (Richard Branson, Virgin). If you don’t score at least an 8 out of 10 the truth is you will struggle to get your message across as there are so many barriers. Check out my paper entitled “Risk Leadership: How to be Heard” for some tips on self-improvement.  
  2. Target the senior executive – If they have not listened to you so far and you figure your self-improvement plan will take some time, ask yourself, who will they listen to now?
  3. Create a team of Risk Champions – see my previous writings on this challenge in Risk e-Views Volume 11, here.


If you want to explore some of these tips or you know you want help, please call me on  +61 2 9400 9702.