Language Lessons

Language Lessons

John Drew, OnPoint Risk Advisors

A while back, on LinkedIn, a banking peer posed an interesting thought: Is the ‘reputation’ of an organization, in and of itself, a risk?

It’s a great question.

One that rightly generated great discussion.

I think it’s extremely important that we, as business strategists and bankers, get the answers to these kinds of questions cleaned up.

Consider this: Nouns like ‘reputation’ are not risks. Verbs – and more specifically, actions – are.

Nouns can only find themselves in risky scenarios. And that happens when an action (or even inaction) makes it so. And even then – according to your unique Risk appetite.

So, is your Bank’s reputation a risk? No. Can your reputation be at risk. Yes.

Same goes for your Bank’s technology due to (insert cyber-threat, or down-time scenario, here).

Same goes for your star employee from being head-hunted.

Same goes for driving a car.

But the car itself is not a risk.

Again – actions are risks. Nouns aren’t.

But what about a tornado? …only if you’re in its path.

So, like your reputation, your IT, or your next road trip… It’s visibility that guides your strategy; strategy that guides your actions… …and action that turns risk into freedom.

Strategic Delivery. Strategic Results.
We retain strategic relationships with regulators, technology providers and trade groups and have excellent client relationships and references.
With high-performing consultant specialists positioned in the largest markets around the US, Our Digital Enterprise allows for the kind of native delivery that ensures a high-touch collaboration effort.
Contact.
Aaron Taylor, CPA, CFA
President, Sola Analytics
ataylor@solaanalytics.com
405-880-0255 Bus
John Drew
President, OnPoint Risk Advisors
john@onpointriskadvisors.com
713-515-1285 Bus

Risk Lingo

Risk Lingo

John Drew, OnPoint Risk Advisors

How many of you know more than one spoken language? (emoji doesn’t count)

More than two languages? Or three?

And of those, how many can you speak well enough to be humorous?

Ordering breakfast in another language is one thing, but make someone laugh… Or be nuanced enough to be truly one with the culture of those who speak that language… That’s knowing a language fluently.

It’s not easy. But it’s an important distinction.

When they say something is “high-risk”? Is it really?

When they say something is “low-risk”? Do you believe them?

You see, saying something is “high-risk” or “low-risk” for example, can mean very different things to two different cultures.

Same goes for different organizations in different business climates or regions.

And matched up against different Risk appetites, or Risk heat maps with different goals and objectives…

Well, you get the idea.

At it’s very essence, a culture lives and dies by its language.

Let’s start with a few key vocabulary words:

Risk

Visibility

Optimization

…and Freedom.

Strategic Delivery. Strategic Results.
We retain strategic relationships with regulators, technology providers and trade groups and have excellent client relationships and references.
With high-performing consultant specialists positioned in the largest markets around the US, Our Digital Enterprise allows for the kind of native delivery that ensures a high-touch collaboration effort.
Contact.
Aaron Taylor, CPA, CFA
President, Sola Analytics
ataylor@solaanalytics.com
405-880-0255 Bus
John Drew
President, OnPoint Risk Advisors
john@onpointriskadvisors.com
713-515-1285 Bus

What Goes Up Doesn’t Necessarily Come Down

What Goes Up Doesn’t Necessarily Come Down

John Drew, OnPoint Risk Advisors

You may have heard me recently compare risk to gravity.

So it may amuse you that, from my own observation, Risk ‘communication’ seems to defy gravity.

Here’s what I mean: What goes up doesn’t necessarily come down.

In addition to its language, a culture relies on its ability and willingness to communicate.

For a bank to have an effective Risk culture, communication needs to start from the bottom and reach the top.

And also… It needs to come from the top and work its way down.

Far too often, I’ve witnessed the front lines – analysts who are dealing with and assessing risk on a daily basis – sending great data and insights up the chain…

…and then nothing.

…crickets.

Unfortunately, those at the top don’t have a message… strategy… or directive.

And thusly, those down the chain are left to just do what they know – or think they know what might be best – whether it’s on point or not.

Bottom line – your communication is a pretty accurate barometer as to the health of your culture.

And you’re exposing yourself to even more risk when your lines of communication aren’t on full duplex.

Don’t let Risk manage you.

With Risk being like gravity, the last thing you need is to be wearing an overcoat made out of cast iron.

Strategic Delivery. Strategic Results.
We retain strategic relationships with regulators, technology providers and trade groups and have excellent client relationships and references.
With high-performing consultant specialists positioned in the largest markets around the US, Our Digital Enterprise allows for the kind of native delivery that ensures a high-touch collaboration effort.
Contact.
Aaron Taylor, CPA, CFA
President, Sola Analytics
ataylor@solaanalytics.com
405-880-0255 Bus
John Drew
President, OnPoint Risk Advisors
john@onpointriskadvisors.com
713-515-1285 Bus

Should You Invest in Risk?

Should You Invest in Risk?

John Drew, OnPoint Risk Advisors

Investing is risky. By its very nature it almost has to be, right?

So, investing IS risk… But what about actually investing IN Risk?

(the irony…)

What’s the antithesis of investment…? Sunk costs?

Hmmm.. sunk costs… Now, that sounds like a lot of ERM I’ve seen far too often…

Let’ be clear, I don’t profess to be an investment guru… But in a general sense, I would imagine that under-investing, or simply letting your investment ride in anything, is probably far from optimal.

And I would imagine the same would be true for investing without intelligent forecasting and relevant data; or without matching it to your risk appetite and personal goals…

Now you’re just left with reacting to the risk itself.

Or put another way, risk manages you.

And there’s no freedom in that.

So, again, should you invest in Risk?

You tell me… is every recession the same?

Should you treat it the same? Of course not.

That’s insanity.

And more than that, there’s plenty of optimization and growth to be had by the savvy investor.

You want true risk? Treat it all as an expense and don’t invest.

Or call us.

Our Risk Investment Gurus are happy to advise.

Strategic Delivery. Strategic Results.
We retain strategic relationships with regulators, technology providers and trade groups and have excellent client relationships and references.
With high-performing consultant specialists positioned in the largest markets around the US, Our Digital Enterprise allows for the kind of native delivery that ensures a high-touch collaboration effort.
Contact.
Aaron Taylor, CPA, CFA
President, Sola Analytics
ataylor@solaanalytics.com
405-880-0255 Bus
John Drew
President, OnPoint Risk Advisors
john@onpointriskadvisors.com
713-515-1285 Bus

Beyond Risk Management

Beyond Risk Management

John Drew, OnPoint Risk Advisors

When someone would ask what I do for a living, I’ve always said that I’m in Risk Management.

And it’s unfortunate… It’s an unfortunate classification…

And it’s unfortunate that so many business leaders see Risk as something to be “managed”.

Risk can’t be managed, any more than gravity.

We have to understand that it will always be present in our environment.

And as such, we must also go beyond just co-existing with it.

Here are 3 ways to do that:

#1: Risk is something to be optimized.

Managers measure, maintain and react. Leaders optimize. And to fully optimize Risk, we need to gain the clearest visibility to Risk. And visibility allows proactivity.

#2: Strategy.

Risk is a key strategy. Your Risk Appetite and Heat Map is unique to your organization and goals. Therefore, your Risk Strategy, driven by the clearest visibility possible, should be as well. And this strategy should be owned by every key leader in your organization. Only then, can Risk be a shared strategy enterprise-wide.

#3: Risk becomes a culture.

And in addition to strategy, an enterprise-wide culture is driven by shared values, goals and language.

And more than that, there’s plenty of optimization and growth to be had by the savvy investor.

Managers become leaders…

Leaders become strategists…

and Risk Leadership (not management) becomes freedom.

Strategic Delivery. Strategic Results.
We retain strategic relationships with regulators, technology providers and trade groups and have excellent client relationships and references.
With high-performing consultant specialists positioned in the largest markets around the US, Our Digital Enterprise allows for the kind of native delivery that ensures a high-touch collaboration effort.
Contact.
Aaron Taylor, CPA, CFA
President, Sola Analytics
ataylor@solaanalytics.com
405-880-0255 Bus
John Drew
President, OnPoint Risk Advisors
john@onpointriskadvisors.com
713-515-1285 Bus