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Introduction

There have been many discussions over the years as to how the risk function can [and should] add value. For too long every risk function has focused on Solvency II risk-compliance. There are now compelling reasons why risk functions should reduce costs and focus on delivering tangible business outcomes. This has led many to focus almost exclusively on the ‘productivity’ lever in an attempt to drive effectiveness & efficiency #5 – The Entrepreneurial CRO: An integrated approach to risk, capital management and strategy.

On 19th January 2018, I attended an Institute of Risk Management ERM in Insurance event ‘Running an efficient risk function – how to get ahead of the regulatory burden’. The presenters made compelling arguments and provided practical examples of risk innovation that firms could incorporate into their day-to-day activities.

There is no doubt incremental improvements such as streamlined reports and efficient risk processes can help reduce costs, but beyond these how can the risk function harness the power of readily-available technology to facilitate breakthrough innovations?

Practical examples

(1) Create (and share) lots of ideas instantly

The challenge with idea creation, is that if you don’t write down your idea almost straight away, the moment passes and that insight is lost forever. Getting into the habit of writing down your ideas immediately is a key discipline. The challenge then becomes how do you share insights with your colleagues?

Some functional teams set-up Whats Up groups to communicate with one another. The challenge with this approach is that all the messages (and replies) end up merging into one continuous feed. An alternative tool is Slack which consolidates all your communication into one place and provides a searchable medium to talk with coworkers in channels based on projects, departments or shared interests.

(2) Use LinkedIn to create a strategic blueprint for the team

It is really important for all members of the team to keep their Experience and Featured Skills and Endorsements up to date. CROs can use this information as a basis for developing a Resource Based View of the team and to develop a strategic blueprint of existing and required skills and capabilities.

How often have you faced a challenge, only to find out later that one of your colleagues had a similar experience and found, or developed a solution.

(3) Share files simultaneously using Cloud-based platforms

There are a number of platforms that allow documents to be worked on simultaneously and shared amongst co-workers. Long gone are the days of having to share documents as email attachments, or searching through endless folders trying to find the latest version.

It might even be possible to set-up pro-forma templates that upload the latest input from various data sources, or keep a time/date stamp of feedback, comments or decisions made.

Before you start working on the template, why not share a ‘mock-up’ wireframe design using Invision? Share your prototype with coworkers and incorporate real time feedback before you even start the build.

(4) Personal Customer Relationship Manager (CRM)

Ever considered using a Personal CRM such as FollowUp to keep on top of your Networking activities by centralising all your contacts? This app allows you to set how often you need to communicate, write notes on what you discussed/agreed and manage your relationships proactively.

Final comment

In today’s dynamic environment where CROs are increasingly required to focus on high-value strategic options, it is increasingly important to incorporate new ways of working into existing risk processes.

The above provides a short list of tools that can facilitate smart working and can help create and capture value. There are many other tools available including automated workflowsthat can optimise sequential working, a particular challenge when working across functional teams.

Reciproco provides knowledge integration across risk, solvency and strategy, including digital transformation, leading complex and unique projects in regulated sectors. Helping senior executives and management teams focus on strategic challenges to create a competitive advantage.

Darren Munday is the founder and Managing Director of Reciproco. An experienced executive with over 20 years’ global experience with multinational companies, including Chief Risk Officer reporting to the Board.

Darren is an Honorary Visiting Fellow of the Digital Leadership Research Centre, Cass Business School where he also holds an Executive MBA.  Darren is a Certified Fellow of the Institute of Risk Management (CFIRM) and Chartered Insurance Risk Manager (ACII) of the Chartered Insurance Institute.


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