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ILX calls for organisations to embrace a company-wide culture of risk management

By ILX Team | 27 January 2015

...Practical ways to manage risk and determine better outcomes in an uncertain world...

LONDON – Tuesday 2nd December 2014 – ILX, the global Best Practice learning company, has called for organisations to embrace a company-wide culture of building risk consideration into key corporate decisions. In support of this practice, ILX has issued guidelines to promote a wider adoption of risk management.

Risk management is a key component for delivering successful project outcomes. Good understanding of risk helps to better manage unexpected events and the impacts of external requirements such as legal, regulatory and compliance.  According to ILX, organisations should be treating risks as uncertainties that can either have a positive effect on objectives (opportunity) or a negative effect on objectives (threat). Fortunately this view of risk and risk management is at last seeping into organisations.

 

Dennis Sheehan, Senior Training Consultant at ILX Group, explains, “Risk management has not been high on agendas and as a result, large organisations have very disparate ways of managing risk as a process. Organisations need a generic process for managing risk that follows a project for example, from cradle to grave. If we start a project, the first thing we need to do is understand why we are doing the project, what could stop it and what could support it or what could happen in the future. We need to ensure that the process is so embedded in the organisation that everybody will follow it, and also that it may be tailored to suit the activity.”

 

Where to start – some practical tips

Embedding risk management into the day-to-day running of an organisation and driving individuals to consider the risks related to their actions are key to the implementation of a successful enterprise risk management (ERM) programme. Here are four starting points to embed and review the management of risk processes:

  1. Take a snapshot of what you are doing now and compare that with what you need to be doing in the future. The Home Office takes risk very seriously and is working to a maturity model for risk management so that it may continually improve the way it does things.
  2. The right documentation is essential. For example, a documented risk management strategy proves to an external auditor that the approach to risk management in your organisation is current best practice. Organisations commonly have a risk register yet too often don’t know the difference between a risk management strategy and a risk register.
  3. Training is likely to be needed to get organisations to understand how to structure their risk management approach and embed this into everyday activities. Make sure training is effective. Users need to be helped through any transformational activities to understand the value of their actions or why change is required. Any training offered should be worded appropriately to demonstrate how it will aid end users in their roles so that it is viewed as adding value, rather than as one of many time-consuming corporate requirements.

An effective training program will meet the needs of a wide range of individuals who often are at different grades or levels within the organisation but in many cases have the same risk responsibilities. Computer-based training might work well with one group while classroom training will be more effective for other people. Risk management training should seek to cover not only the ‘why’ of risk management, but also how users can implement risk management practices successfully into their day-to-day activities.

  1. Drive cultural change from the top. This is more about education than training. Risk awareness needs to be raised considerably but this doesn’t have to be expensive. This should be owned in-house. You can get trainers and consultants in to explain the basics and then get the people who make the decision to own it and cascade the responsibilities down.

Sheehan adds, “All managers need to be aware of the need to educate their staff. Executive-level training in the form of ‘know your responsibilities’ is a useful mechanism to help management understand their risk responsibilities and those of their staff. You only need a small group of practitioners to get the education going in the organisation. You can even start when you are inducting new people into the organisation – explain to them that risk is high on the company’s agenda and this is ‘the way we do it here’. Support this with newsletters, email shots and employee communications to keep risk management high on the agenda at every level of the organisation. In today’s uncertain world, risk management is a necessity rather than a luxury.”

For enquires about Management of Risk (M_o_R) training courses or bespoke consultancy support please email sales@ilxgroup.com ILX’s full range of courses are also summarised on YouTube by visiting http://bit.ly/1qI5NcU

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