Social Media and Risk Management

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Social Media Communication

Social media and risk management are not typically connected in discussion.

In actual fact, there are many risk professionals whom would see social media as a “waste of time” or “distracting people from their jobs”.  I personally have experienced this exact sentiment in my career in Risk Management. Of course, there are a group of people who see social media the exact opposite way and would be amazed to hear in 2014 that this is an optional tool.

But, we are not here to discuss social media and risk management in this context, but rather how social media is a powerful tool that risk managers must leverage to engage stakeholders in delivering enterprise risk management.

Risk management is fundamentally about engaging stakeholders to take accountability around the day-to-day risks that impact or will impact their ability to deliver on their goals.  The key challenge is the ability to penetrate the requirements of risk management into the DNA of employees, so that a risk based culture is embedded in the organisation.  In order to achieve this goal the Risk Leader has to have the risk management team cohesively operating through knowledge sharing.  The Risk Leader must also have all internal stakeholders engaged in the conversation of risk.

There are therefore three key tools in engagement when it comes to social media and risk management.

Blog. Blogging is about providing personal views on topics that provide the reader with the opportunity to comprehend your opinion on that topic. This tool can provide an opportunity for your team and stakeholders to learn more about you as a leader, but also to dive deeper into a specific topic.  For me. the key tips for writing a blog that impacts from a risk management perspective are:

  • The language is simple with as little technical jargon as possible
  • The blog is clearly showing some of your personality
  • It is focused on one key topic

Yammer.  Yammer is a specific tool which is essentially an internal “twitter”/”facebook”.  Utilising a tool such as Yammer provides for the reader to comprehend a small chunk of information, perhaps linking to an external or internal piece of information.  This tool keeps the topic focused and provides the reader the ability to participate through response or “liking” the content.  For me, the key tips for an impactful post are:

  • Keep it short, one sentence with a maximum of two sentences
  • Pose a question or a topic that allows the reader to challenge you
  • Share, share and share as much content as possible

Wiki. We are all familiar with wikipedia, wikis are the tool that underpins wikipedia.  The power of a wiki is the dynamic nature of the tool and the fact that users provide all the content.  This will provide the Risk Leader with the ability to move the “content” of risk management to the power of the people, making it more relevant and more impactful.  This is an area that has massive potential for key documents, such as risk frameworks, to become dynamic user-driven content rather than the “document” based approach of today. The key tips for a great wiki are:

  • Let the users make the content
  • Just give them a wire frame to follow
  • Don’t over police, allow the community to resolve issues

It is time for us to realise that the year is 2014, and social media and risk management is defining a new generation of risk professionals.

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Scott North has extensive experience in enterprise risk management, internal audit, operational risk and compliance, risk strategy, scenario planning, technology risk, technology business analysis, systems design, financial accounting, and management accounting. Scott is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Chartered Accountants with a Masters Degree from the University of Melbourne in Business and Information Technology. Scott is also a Fellow of the University of Melbourne.