An idea in innovation of risk management


During my time in risk management specifically over the past 4 years I have moved from centralised support roles to front-line risk support roles.  Prior to that, through being in internal audit, technology and also accounting, the skills I have acquired have given me an interesting, and perhaps unique, perspective on risk management techniques.

That has lead me to this idea on the innovation of risk.

Essentially the concept is quite simple, provide every employee with one topic / business idea / risk and empower them to own the risk management outcomes.

Clearly, the goal is not only to provide the individual with full accountability, but also it will encourage the individual to utilise the skills of the people around them to provide the best approach to managing that risk.  In addition, through the accountability element, every employee will take responsibility.

Actually, this idea is way too simple to perhaps be plausible.  You will no doubt be raising the following questions in your mind right now:

  • How can someone be accountable for something they cannot control?
  • There are more risks than employees, therefore we will have some risks not addressed?
  • A lot of risks are inter-related, we will create massive duplication of effort?
  • People will just focus on their risk, leaving the others alone, and therefore we will create silo’s of risk – how is that a good idea?

And I am guessing you have thought of way more questions than that!

So, what is my point?

Well, as I said at the start, quite simple.  If you were to do this, maybe rather than call it “owning” the risk but instead “champion” or “driver”, then everyone would be given the opportunity to be actively involved in risk management and thereby learn the true intrinsic value in risk management.

From here, having seen what risk management is about, it will become easier for them to not only think about other risks in their area, but also share with others their experience and also be better prepared for managing multiple risks across multiple dimensions.

I did say right up front, that this was an idea in the innovation of risk……not the answer to all risk management problems!

Scott North has extensive experience in enterprise risk management, internal audit, operational risk and compliance, risk strategy, scenario planning, technology risk, technology business analysis, systems design, financial accounting, and management accounting. Scott is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Chartered Accountants with a Masters Degree from the University of Melbourne in Business and Information Technology. Scott is also a Fellow of the University of Melbourne.