3 things you need to know to succeed in risk

Panelists from the Women. Fast forward panel at this year's annual conference

Panelists from the Women. Fast forward panel at this year’s annual conference

Disruption and gender diversity are two of the biggest topics facing business leaders today. Both issues are critical to the future of every industry. And they’re closely connected.

The best way to navigate disruption is to harness the power of diverse thinking by enabling people with different experiences, ideas and knowledge to come together in an inclusive culture. Gender diversity is a critical part of the equation. Not only this, gender diverse leadership is proven to increase the skills businesses need to navigate the disruptive trends transforming their industry.

So what does this mean?

If a person, or company, wants to succeed in mitigating risk, they must embrace gender diversity at every level.

In short, everyone benefits from thinking like a woman.

  • “You need to get comfortable being uncomfortable” — Jessica Jung, Director, Oswald Companies

Achieving success isn’t something that just happens to a person. It requires a lot of hard work, tough choices, and generally being willing to put yourself out there— trying something new.

  • Have an entrepreneurial spirit

No matter if you’re the intern grabbing Starbucks for your department or a C-suite executive, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. When approaching any situation, don’t come to the meeting and just point out the risks — offer real solutions.

  • Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.

Every panelist punched this point home — communicate with everyone, from your spouse to your organization and boss. By being an open communicator, you project to others that you are confident, open to compromise, and available.

Each year, The Risk Institute at The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business hosts an annual conference that brings together thought leaders, industry experts, and academics to engage in a dialogue about the latest trends in risk management. This year the conversation focused around governance, culture, and the vital role women play in the field.

One of the Institute’s founding member’s, EY, cosponsored a panel spring-boarding their Women. Fast forward initiative, which aims to accelerate the achievement of gender parity in business.

The Risk Institute will continue this conversation and others through this year’s Risk Series.

Risk Culture Plays a Critical Role in the Financial Services Industry

Risk Institute Portraits Fisher Hall - Third Floor Feb-02-2016 Photo by Jay LaPrete ©2016 Jay LaPrete

By  Philip S. Renaud II, MS, CPCU
Executive Director, The Risk Institute
The Ohio State University Fisher College of Business


The Risk Institute at The Ohio State University held the first in a series of breakfast sessions that focused on Risk Culture in the Financial Services Industry.

The session was moderated by The Risk Institute Academic Director Dr. Isil Erel who guided the discussion of the four-person panel of experts comprised of:

The session concentrated on how the financial crisis has elevated regulatory risk to a more central point in the discussion of risk management. The panel focused on how an organization’s culture is measured. Measurement can include the more traditional standard, regulatory approach with the evaluation of policies and/or process breaches to the softer side of culture that measures the “tone at the top.” The softer actions can include “raising your hand” when a process, policy and/or an ethical challenge is observed.

Panel Risk Culture Financial Institutions 3.2016

Helga Houston, Kevin Allard, Steve Chenenko, Rick Wilson

The panel went into an in-depth discourse for session attendees on how three levels of defense need to be present in an institution to evaluate the proper culture within. Those include:

  1. Business Unit oversight
  2. Risk Management oversight
  3. Auditor and/or Regulatory oversight

It is vital for all three oversights to be integrated in an organization’s risk culture. Furthermore, it is important to consistently gauge the organizational culture to evaluate if associates are doing the right thing, and whether they believe in the organization and what it stands for or if they are acting simply because they are instructed to do so.

The session proved thought-provoking and demonstrated The Risk Institute’s unique role in uniting industry thought leaders, academics and highly respected practitioners in an ongoing dialog to advance the understanding and evolution of risk management. The Risk Institute’s conversation about risk management is open and collaborative with its relevance across all industries and its potential as a tool for competitiveness and growth.

For more information about upcoming events, our students, partners or research, visit our website: fisher.osu.edu/centers/risk.