Four faces of Risk | Part 2

Four faces of Risk | Part 2

6 minute read

The Connector

AN EXCLUSIVE 4-PART SERIES
PART 2

The four faces of risk

There are four personas that risk teams must be able to play, in order to help their organisations confidently manage risks in the real world; where objectives, design and enablers must work together to protect and grow value. 

 

The Connector. What is the role of the Connector? 

The connector plays a crucial role in helping organisations manage risk better, leveraging the privileged position of the risk team – with a view across the entire organisation.  Often the opportunities to play the connector arise when incidents occur, new risks emerge and require a range of capabilities to respond, or where challenges within the organisation hinder effective collaboration.

 

Effective Connectors know who within the organisation can help, they understand the (potentially competing) priorities across leaders, and they are able to frame problems in a way that everyone can understand and engage with.

 

But the connector must avoid simply being a mailbox.  Connecting the right person with the right challenge at the right time requires a deep understanding of the frameworks, systems and processes in the organisation, where there is capacity and where there is pressure.  The effective Connector knows that sometimes issues need escalation.

 

So, how can you become a better connector…

  1. Know the organisation – to effectively connect you must know not just the formal organisation, but also how the informal connections. Building strong, trusted relationships with all key stakeholders and being able to create win/win scenarios
  2. Get out of the way, except when you need to get in the way – often risk teams feel that, when an issue is brought to them that they must be involved in seeing the matter through to conclusion – most of the time, the risk team is a hindrance to well connected, accountable teams of honest and competent people solving problems. Sometimes, the risk team needs to be involved, but far less often than most are.

Ultimately the role of the risk function is about conducting the orchestra, not playing the instruments. Choosing when to speak or hold back, choosing when to ask for more information or accept uncertainty is a key challenge for all risk professionals. 

Choosing the right role to play at the right time is crucial, and being able to switch between these roles may seem difficult, but that is the challenge for the risk function.  The reward – a seat at the table, and the trust of management to help them achieve their goals.

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