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Risk Management

Risk, Science, and Decision Making:
How Should Risk Leaders Work With AI?

Highlights From a CRO Round-table Discussion

  • February 2020

In this world of increasing complexity we are continually inundated with data in our professional and personal lives. And data is driving the AI revolution. This can be overwhelming for many as we search for ways of cutting through the noise for the key insights. It is also driving the tendency in all of us to delve further into more esoteric areas of specialization and deepening our search for domain experts, including those in the risk function. What does this mean for future risk leaders and how are they evolving? We were delighted to host a round-table event with the Institute of Risk Management (IRM) to explore these themes further. What we found was a rich debate covering a breadth of topics that you can read in the full report

On leadership specifically, there is a heightened need for leaders to identify, hire, develop, and deploy the right talent in the right roles aligned toward a common purpose. Through research at Egon Zehnder, we have found four elements that we believe are key to identifying leadership potential and are present in leaders across an organization. This framework, developed using the same methodology as trait-based measures of personality, can help spot high-potential talent early, allowing organizations to invest time in developing their skills, abilities, and competencies. Specifically, we believe that by identifying and nurturing behaviors associated with curiosity (about the outside world and the leader themselves), insight (cutting through the noise), engagement (building followership through winning hearts and minds), and determination (personal resilience), we can help people progress and perform in leadership positions that resonate with their motivation, style, and natural energies. 

The role of the leader is then less about knowing all the answers but more about defining purpose, shaping culture, and trusting their teams to deliver. This requires a healthy dose of humility and a measure of comfort in showing vulnerability. The more data that surrounds us the greater the need for leaders to exercise judgement, striking that right balance between art and science. 

Developments in technology continue to disrupt industries and organizations globally, presenting both opportunities and risks. Preparing the risk community for this challenge through education, training, research and networking events is one of the key strategic objectives of the Institute of Risk Management (IRM). Egon Zehnder partnered with IRM to bring together a group of Chief Risk Officers, leading academics and risk thinkers for a round-table discussion on the topic of artificial intelligence and its potential impact on the risk landscape. Read the full report that captures their discussions.

To read more, download the full report.

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