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Taking risk on board

Businesses and organisations today find themselves operating in a highly volatile and ambiguous world.

We are seeing unprecedented levels of political uncertainty and ever-increasing regulatory scrutiny. Rapid technological change and climate change challenges, meanwhile, are impacting many organisations. Board members now have to deal with increasing uncertainty and complexity so, unsurprisingly, risk is a matter that now sits high up on their agendas.

Risk has always been a topic for board consideration. The UK Corporate Governance Code sets out the board’s responsibility for risk and other sector governance codes have similar provisions. Boards’ approaches to risk as an agenda item varies but, too often, this involves little more than a review of the top scoring items on the risk register. At its worst, the discussion becomes little more than a debate about whether the scoring of risks is right, rather than more substantive discussions about how to respond.