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.

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Aaron Taylor, CPA, CFA
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John Drew
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Chris Henkel
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