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Embedding a positive risk management culture

Key findings from an independent programme of research

Many businesses recognise the need to develop their approach to risk management, but find that making tangible progress is not always straightforward. A variety of obstacles can hinder their quest for improvement. It can be their own organisational culture, their employees’ willingness to embrace change or management’s ability to cascade new ideas and initiatives through the business.

Overcoming this organisational challenge is rarely achieved through one single step or change in approach, nor is it completed at one moment in time. It is much more likely to come through the cumulative effect of individual steps, each of which supports and strengthens other key actions taken.

In this report, based on interviews with 377 key ‘risk’ decision-makers from small, medium sized and larger businesses, we examine:

  • The extent to which UK businesses have a positive risk management culture that is embedded through their organisation
  • The critical steps needed to embed this culture
  • Which of these steps have the most impact

The overriding conclusion is that relatively few businesses in the UK believe they have a positive risk culture that is genuinely embedded through their organisation. For those that do, it suggests that a successful strategy includes a combination of the more obvious ‘foundation stones’ of risk management and other ‘under-recognised’ factors.

At a time when risk exposures are reported to be increasing, ensuring that the risk culture is fit for purpose, should be an important priority for UK businesses.

Richard Thomas
Head of Risk Solutions
QBE European Operations

Download full report