Cultivating a Risk Culture | Part 4: How to Get Started

  • April 26, 2021
  • Julia O'Connell

There are many factors to consider in cultivating a risk culture within your organization. In Part 1 of this series, we discussed the critical nature of getting people involved and engaged in risk management processes. In Part 2, we looked at other internal factors and how to take a systematic approach to reviewing them. In the prior installment, we explored how external factors can have profound impacts on the risk culture. In this fourth and final article, we’ll review how to get started with risk culture development at your organization.

Risk Culture Development: Components & Best Practices

  • Goals and Metrics: As with any well-planned project, start with defining your goals and how you will measure success. This will help you create a clear path to the desired outcome.
  • Scope: Determine the scope of the changes, considering your organization. Should this be a phased initiative, or can your existing culture assimilate changes quickly?
  • Stakeholders: Define your stakeholders and the role they play in the plan. Consider including key influencers in your organization.
  • Milestones: Decide on key milestones and their timing. Ensure you set a schedule that is realistic, giving enough time for people to engage and assimilate the information while still maintaining velocity on the project.
  • Risk Assessment: Assess the risks to the initiative and how you will address/mitigate those risks.
  • Considerations: Ensure you cover the following as a part of the planning process:
    • Communication, both internal and external
    • Skills gaps and education needs
    • Policies and controls that support the culture
    • Technology solutions to manage and maintain
    • Level of third-party involvement
    • Ongoing review process and cadence
    • Retrospectives

Never underestimate the time it takes to shift people’s way of thinking. If your organization already understands risk management, this initiative will be a breeze. If people in your organization can’t spell the word ‘risk,’ it will take much longer, as you will need to spend significantly more time on education and implementation. Cultivating a culture of risk management will have lasting positive impacts. By enabling quick responses to potentially devastating risks, the management team will have deeper insight into areas they may not have seen otherwise.

About the author:

Julia O’Connell is Quantivate’s senior vice president of product development and works with customers to define product requirements and determine ongoing development strategies.

Read the whole risk culture series: