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Author  Nick Thomas

Trainer/Consultant at Route to Knowledge and M_o_R reviewer

June 28, 2022 |

 8 min read

  • Blog

What has changed about the way risk is viewed in organizations?

While the nature of risk itself hasn’t changed, there is now more of a “flashlight” being shone on the subject.

Risk is no longer a dirty word in organizations and is more understood as a concept beyond one or two specialists; equally, the conversation today covers awareness, prevention, what the fall-back is and the opportunity – not just the scare factor.

And, in this context, the new Management of Risk guidance (M_o_R 4) offers both a set of steps and ways of thinking that people can adapt to fit their situation, whether that’s in the public or private sectors, and working in product development.

Changing roles and responsibilities in risk management

20 years ago, there was a risk team, department or champion that everyone else followed. Now, risk is seen as a crucial part of what everybody needs to do, with risk professionals as educators and facilitators to help others manage risk in a hands-on way.

M_o_R 4 guidance identifies the risk owner early on as a person “on the ground”, who understands the operational risk, will assist in writing the risk register and participate in risk workshops.

This is the right way to do it: having best practice guidance that enables them to manage their risks better without it being prescriptive about processes or procedures.

Equipping professionals to manage risk with M_o_R

As an official reviewer for M_o_R 4, my job was to make sure people feel challenged by the training, learning and certification. However, the idea is also to encourage and equip them with a broad spread of knowledge and practical techniques they can use when returning to work after the course and exam.

What I think is important is to develop people who are not necessarily risk specialists, but who can speak about risk with confidence. And that means having the ability to communicate equally to a C-suite leader or someone on the front line, adjusting what’s needed from the framework accordingly.

M_o_R 4: responding to risk challenges today?

From the first page of the updated M_o_R 4 guidance, I believe it responds very well to the current demands of risk management in organizations.

Not only does it “get” what risk is about, it steps away from a form filling and tick-box mentality (e.g. having a risk register just for the sake of it) to acknowledge more about the value-creating and supportive nature of risk management.

By taking a pragmatic risk assessment approach – reviewing, adjusting and adapting – organizations have a much better chance of spreading risk knowledge and ensuring it’s relevant in a changing world.

Plus, the greater emphasis on the importance of people in M_o_R 4 reflects that, without effective stakeholder engagement and leadership, managing risk is a far bigger challenge.