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Case Study - Risk Aware Working

The problem

An investment firm had made a bad overseas judgement, which had resulted in a change in senior management and a regulatory fine. A few years later they were still not sure the appropriate risk awareness was in place. The problem was perceived to be that there was no one view held across the firm, some being over-cautious for fear of replicating the investment problem again and other newer staff not understanding there had ever been an issue.

The CRO and FD had attended the Beyond the Risk Register – behavioural risk briefing and saw great possibilities with embedding that learning in their business.

The solution

We proposed an embedding risk-aware working programme:

Stage 1: Interview based research to understand people’s current perceptions

Stage 2: Design of a specific workshop programme with bespoke case studies to be rolled out throughout the organisation

Stage 3: Identification and running of test workshop with an ‘early adopter’ group, with feedback

Stage 4: Modification and rollout to 100 key staff

Stage 5: Workshop/briefing to the Executive

Stage 6: Briefing and summary of results to the Risk Committee

The interviews brought up several themes, including predominantly a fear of recreating the problem that had lost the firm money and created regulatory censure.

We included the themes in our early adopter workshop alongside some real case studies for them to work through in the session so that they created a sensible way forward in line with the CRO’s thinking and the Board’s risk appetite. Following the workshop we reviewed feedback and slightly adjusted the case studies before rolling the workshop out to 100 key members of staff and the executive.

The results

The CRO was delighted with how insightful the interviews had been and said that even if they got no further results this alone was worth the programme. The insights continued throughout the process, with even the most cynical stopping and thinking in a more risk-aware way due to the workshops.

Six months on everything has changed at the firm and continues to evolve positively.

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