The role of the Chief Risk Officer (CRO) is as challenging as it is varied. Depending on your industry, the role of the CRO can change dramatically, as the risks and potential risks change. What is constant is the need for a CRO to be able to manage, assess and mitigate risks to business in an ongoing and effective way. As businesses grow and technology advances, risks adapt and change. No matter the industry, you can rest assured the risks will grow and having an effective CRO is absolutely crucial. There are a number of key attributes required to becoming a success. With these tips, you will be well on your way to becoming the most effective CRO you can be.
Keep up to date
As we’ve mentioned above, one of the biggest challenges of risk assessment is the very nature of risk. As one risk is mitigated, so appears another. As technology advances, giving us extraordinary tools for running business, so too do the risks of said technology. As your business grows, you become more exposed. The biggest mistake you can make with your business is becoming complacent. Your CRO must be vigilant and up to date at all times.
This requires acute knowledge of your industry and risks. It also requires an advanced understanding of the general business risks and management techniques facing your business today. A great starting point is networking with other CROs at events such as the Konnect Learning inaugural Chief Risk Officer Summit in March 2017.
Understand your industry and the market
Your industry will face a plethora of customised risk, specific to the kind of service you provide. Knowing your industry is absolutely vital in being able to successfully understand the breadth of risk facing your business. Industry training and networking is the key. Spend time with other business operators in your industry and get a feel for the individualised challenges you face. If you are looking for industry customised events to be involved in, get in touch with training organisations such as Konnect Learning, to investigate the best available networking opportunities for you.
Ensure your business acumen aligns with the needs of the business
This is something all CROs must learn and understand. A successful CRO needs to understand the processes and aims of the business as well as the potential risks. A fine balance needs to be struck at every corner, as risk needs to be mitigated and managed while minimising the disruption of the business.
Ensuring that your CRO has strong and effective business acumen can be key in managing that tightrope-esque balancing act. All Things Admin is a fantastic resource for business administrators and they have a fantastic article for those looking to develop their business acumen.
Develop your communication skills
You may understand your industry and the wider industry of risk assessment, but if you do not contain the communication skills, your knowledge will be for nought. Every business professional should consistently work on and build their communication skills. Invest in communication across your business and you are investing in the prosperity of your business. Understand emotional intelligence and develop your ability to communicate.
Hone your ability to lead and influence
Affecting change can be tough when you are faced with a business full of naysayers. The fact is managing many risks will often get in the way of business and understanding how to balance risk and business will only get you so far. Sometimes the CRO will be responsible for making the hard choices, the choices that may initially look like a financial burden. The CRO may be responsible for creating walls instead of tearing them down. A CRO needs to have the ability to make change with the enthusiastic backing of the wider business. This requires leadership. Be confident in your ability to lead and influence others, and if you are not confident, learn.
Whatever the risk, ensure you protect yourself with a successful and effective Chief Risk Officer.