An active network of “risk champions” is a very effective way to develop strong risk management culture. This network could become the “glue” between the risk management team and the rest of the business. “Risk champions” can be of three types:
- Official risk coordinators – employees, whose official duties include the coordination of risk management processes within individual processes or business units. They are usually responsible for preparing information about risks, monitoring risk mitigation progress, organising risk management events or training. This role becomes less relevant with the integration of risk management into decision making.
- Unofficial informants – employees, who have established informal, yet trusted relationships with the risk managers. They provide information about emerging risks or changes in the organisation processes or risk profile. A large network of informants is critical for risk managers to stay up-to-date on what is happening in the company. Good risk managers invest significant amount of time to have a network of people who can help with advice or information.
- Influencers – employees, who support the integration of risk management into the organizational activities and processes because it makes good business sense for the company or them personally. They will usually participate in the Risk Management Committee meetings and will support initiatives proposed by the risk managers.
“Risk champions” help to implement risk management elements in key business processes and procedures within the organisation. Usually, “risk-champions” are employees who are naturally motivated to effectively manage risks, such as employees responsible for project management, methodology, process improvement, audit, internal control, etc. For larger organisations, it may be necessary to identify “risk-champions” not only for key processes, but also for each geographical area where the company is represented.
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