Risk management can co-ordinate all the skills required to understand and make sure that governance creates healthy leadership in an organisation, said Brigitte Bouquot, President of AMRAE and Director of Insurance and Risk Management for Thales. She commended FERMA for taking the initiative in publishing its recommendations for cyber risk governance.
Jochen Menges from the Judge Business School at Cambridge University had begun the plenary discussion on leadership in a world of interconnected and complex risks by pointing out the value and the risk of charismatic leaders. These are people who can create disruption and inspire enthusiasm. They evoke an emotional response, but you need to know that there is substance as well as awe. “They do change the world – but it is not always for the best.”
Lloyd’s CEO Inga Beale spoke about the changes to the risk landscape that are requiring leadership from organisations. First, there is geopolitical uncertainty and growing protectionism, second is a shift in economic power to Asia and third, technology which is changing the business model for everyone with the enormous shift to intangible assets as generators of value.
Asked by moderator Alex Taylor for the ideal qualities of leadership, Inga Beale responded; “Humility. We need to take time to listen to someone who knows more than we do.”
The optimum mixture for leaders, suggested Jochen Menges, is a combination of technical ability and of emotional intelligence. “It is emotional intelligence through which the first part comes alive. It contributes to our world and makes that a better place.”
Brigitte Bouquot argued that there should be no further question of the risk manager being on the defensive. His or her role is to develop risk awareness at the heart of the business, and so they should be close to the CEO, the executive committee and the board. At the conclusion of the discussion, she reinforced the importance of leadership combining technical knowledge and emotional intelligence and added: “We need to know where we have come from to determine our route for the future.”