Communication Skills for Effective Enterprise Risk Management

March 2013 Bonus Resource

By Diana Del Bel Belluz, M.A.Sc., P.Eng.

If you’re like most executives, you would agree that communication is crucial for effective enterprise risk management. But is that only lip service? Do you know what is required for effective communication about risk? Are your people skilled in having conversations that support a culture of inquiry (one of the healthy risk culture traits in this month’s Feature Article)?

I recently had the opportunity to collaborate with Mary Ann Archer of Nxknowledge to deliver education to the board and executive team of a nonprofit organization on how to communicate more effectively about enterprise risks. I was impressed with how she helped the group to quickly enhance their communication skills.

Nxknowledge has developed Productive Business Conversations (PBC), an online resource aimed at helping managers to improve the quality of their conversations. PBC is an interactive resource tool with five modules that help you to explore how you can:

  • understand assumptions and what to do to question them (Assumptions module)
  • understand the ways beliefs about yourself affect your performance (Self-Beliefs module)
  • increase candor in your conversations and meetings (Undiscussables module)
  • extend your understanding and broaden your perspective about issues that matter (Core Skills module)
  • improve the quality of meetings by using a step-by-step planning process (Planning Template module)

While there are a variety of companies and books devoted to the topic of improving your business conversations, the advantage I see with PBC is its pragmatic nature. Is has just-in-time tips and tools that can be downloaded and taken directly into a meeting. The PBC site has been proven through a combination of extensive research and thorough testing in many business environments.

I particularly like the I D E A S planning template. It enables leaders and teams to develop a shared understanding of the issues before them, thoroughly explore potential solutions and make decisions that account for multiple perspectives with this process:

   I - Identify/frame the issue

   D - Dialogue: develop shared understanding

   E - Explore solutions

   A - Action: Making decisions and planning

   S - Specify outcomes and learnings

I D E A S provides a useful framework to guide business conversations and can also be used as a template to prepare for a conversation. This process is most effective when the issue is complex and requires some dialogue and shared understanding. Where the issue is a simple one requiring an either/or decision, you may not need to use the entire process.

The Productive Business Conversations resource is designed to take you on a journey of applied learning that can last for one minute or 25 minutes, depending on the time you have available.

To view a demo of this online resource, visit:  http://www.nxknowledge.com/

Follow the links to:

Read this month's Feature ArticleCreating a Healthy ERM Culture – Part 3

Download a printable version of the entire March 2013 issue of the Risk Management Made Simple Advisory.

View the Article Index to access back issues of the Risk Management Made Simple Advisory.

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Current Special Offers for Subscribers

The code to access the following special offer has been emailed to all Risk Management Made Simple Advisory subscribers:

Not yet a subscriber, but want to access these special offers?

When you subscribe to the Advisory, we'll send you the code for all current special offers along with a link to your New Subscriber Bonus, a copy of Moving Beyond the Risk Map to Operational Vigilance.

FIND OUT FOR YOURSELF why risk management leaders subscribe, click to access the ARTICLE INDEX of all past issues of the Risk Management Made Simple Advisory.

"I save and study each issue of the Advisory. I appreciate how Diana gives very practical advice and links it to fundamental theories and best practices." 

Sherrie Hyde, Risk Manager, Lutherwood

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Diana's Pick

The Neuroscience of Enterprise Risk Management (written by Diana Del Bel Belluz of Risk Wise) expores findings from the field of neuroscience and shares practical tips on how to apply them to enhance individuals' risk management thinking and implement brain-friendly ERM practices in organizations.

The article was published by The Conference Board of Canada in the Autumn 2017 issue of the journal Risk Watch.