Unfortunately, many people really think that Risk Management is about compliance with a set of rules laid down by some external body such as your financial backer, your insurer, or someone you want to do business with, often as part of a tendering process.  Of course we all need to comply with various rules, and provide evidence we are doing so, if we want to gain the associated benefits, but I find it very sad that some people do not see beyond that.  Why?

  1. It would be much better if you could use the regulations as an opportunity.  If you could see why the rules are there, and what lies behind them, and possibly do more than the minimum to comply, or at least make use of the information you have obtained in the process, to improve the way you manage risk.
  2. If you reduce Risk Management to a process, it becomes boring and soul-destroying, whereas it could be far more exciting and rewarding.
  3. If you concentrate on ticking boxes you are in real danger of missing the elephant in the room – the risk threatening your business which was not on the list.

Therefore, if you find yourself in box-ticking mode, ask yourself whether this is because you lack imagination or of your boss does.  If the latter, I sympathise, but suggest it may be your destiny to educate him!

I remember an incident in an Inspector Morse story when it was suggested a new member should join his team, and he was less than enthusiastic about it.  Lewis said: “ It might not be such a bad thing.  A new person might bring some new thinking.” To this, Morse replied: “Thinking, Lewis, old or new, would be a very good thing!

He would have been good at Risk Management.