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Risk Management: Essential skills of a Risk Manager


It’s a risky business – no matter which industry you work in. No organisation can expect to thrive unless they carefully consider the risks they may face along the way. You wouldn’t cross a busy street without first checking the risk of being run over, would you?

Many large companies now have big departments dedicated to risk analysis and management to make sure that they avoid potential pitfalls. However, it is vital that your staff have the best risk management training possible. After all, the future of many businesses rests in these individual’s hands.

In these financially constrained times, senior executives and managers are becoming increasingly selective with their choices of risk managers to ensure the best return on investment. The added economic pressures can also encourage panic throughout organisations, with decisions being hastily made without careful consideration.

So what should you look for in your risk management team? Below, we’ve put together our essential skills of a risk manager to help:

  1.  It is a Risk Manager’s job to ensure that everything runs smoothly. It may seem obvious, but choose those who have strong organisational skills. If they can’t keep on top of their own affairs, how are they going to assess the dangers your business potentially faces?
  2. The best Risk Managers will have experience within different industries. For example, having practical experience on the trading floor is a useful asset in the financial industry because they will be able to quickly understand any new deal which occurs and coordinate a response far faster.
  3. The levels of analysis conducted for risk management purposes can easily lead to an information overload. Look for those with strong communication skills to filter out unnecessary information and convey it succinctly so that everyone in an organisation can understand the risks involved with a project.
  4. Proactive, not reactive. The best Risk Managers are forward thinking – they look at what is happening in the industry and what changes may be on the horizon, rather than simply reacting to events ad hoc. Risk Managers should not take things at face value, but should probe behind the details and consider every angle.
  5. Diligence pays dividends. Risk management should follow four steps: identification, valuation, response and control. Identifying risks early in the project cycle makes them easier to contain. Careful assessment and mitigation of each identified risk allows the project to move forward at optimum pace. Finally, by monitoring the risks as the project develops you ensure that everything runs smoothly. Risk Managers should remain part of the entire process, as risks may only come to light further down the line.

Can you afford to take the risk not to have properly trained risk management staff? Enrolling your staff on risk management training courses is a cost effective way to ensure your risk management team, and therefore your business, is best prepared for the road that lies ahead.

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