Risk managers are seeking to acquire a rather unexpected skill, according to Airmic.
The body’s deputy chief executive and technical manager, Julia Graham, said Airmic members were seeking to become better storytellers.
“They are very keen to be able to communicate better,” she explained. “If you’ve got to communicate complex ideas then really you need more sophisticated communication skills.”
She said people “rather like the idea of storytelling”, which, she added, can be a lot more effective than “putting up lots of slides with lots of statistics on them; and people’s eyes starting to wilt”.
“Pictures and stories are always a better way of relating a message - but it’s a talent to be able to do that.”
The notion comes as risk managers are seeking to play more of a central role in boardroom decision making.
“It’s one thing to move from back office to centre stage and take the spotlight on you,” she said, but she noted that risk managers must do it in such a way that shows they add value to an organisation and have a “pretty good story to tell”.
She said they should do that in an “informed and educated” way.
To get in front of the board, Airmic’s Lynda Lucas said the company secretary is the “risk manager’s best friend”.
Lucas, who was the company secretary at Fujitsu (now director international risk management, global corporate finance), said the company secretariat may be able to get them a slot on the agenda.
“As company secretary, I’ve never had trouble getting things on to the agenda for the board because that’s the company secretary’s job,” she said.
“So when you’re actually putting the agenda together - albeit you’re usually working with a chairman or maybe the CEO to construct the agenda - if you don’t get something on there the first time, you can keep going.”
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