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Risk Management

Forget Handbooks, Videos Great Way to Communicate ERM Mission, Risks

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May 29, 2019

Video is key to getting out the ERM message on what it does, key risks.

Risk ManagementEnterprise Risk Management (ERM) serves little purpose unless the policies it creates can effectively be conveyed to management and more generally to employees. Currently that may mean competing with pets.

One participant at NeuGroup’s recent Corporate ERM Group meeting said that his team has set up channels on Yammer, a Microsoft social-networking service used within an organization, that are devoted to risk optimization and megatrends. The intent is to use the channels to provide videos and other materials to educate employees about ERM.

“Another channel shows pictures of pets, and more people follow that one than either of ours,” he said, adding that he nevertheless sees significant potential for ERM in such channels if employees can be persuaded to follow them. “Long term, this the way Millennials want to get their information, so we have to figure out how to use it.”

Recently, Caterpillar’s ERM team won a Telly Award for its catchy, 1960s, Jetsons-esque explanation of how enterprise risk management can help increase “total enterprise value,” which is described as the “theoretical purchase price of Caterpillar, plus future earnings.” This ERM can affect by “lessening exposure to risk by reducing negative uncertainty.” Even moving the needle slightly in a positive direction “can add billions to the total enterprise value,” the video says.

Communication alternatives. At the ERM meeting, attendees swapped ideas about effective ways to communicate ERM risk policies. One recalled a peer who a few ERM Group meetings ago showed members pamphlets his company produces to describe risk policies. The pamphlets were “risk management 101” but effectively conveyed the basics. The peer said his company still produces them. Its new open-space office environment has complicated distributing the paper version, but they are available online.

Another member of the ERM Group, said that most such communications are now done via video, either by hiring a videographer or via animation, and the others generally agreed. Similar to a Yahoo page, the videos are ranked by popularity and may be visible on the company’s Internet page for one or several weeks, eventually disappearing from the screen but remaining searchable in the archive.

Lessons learned. Members of the group laughed, however, when asked how many ERM teams actually have a budget for a videographer, given a three minute video typically costs between $5000 and $10,000. Some lessons learned discussed by members of the ERM Group included:

  • The video has to be captivating, perhaps involving a star in the company.
  • Coaching is key, to avoid the appearance of a “hostage video.”
  • Animation can be very effective, and it’s less expensive than a videographer.
  • The most effective videos are two or three minutes in length, although highlighting a well-known and highly respected personality can extend it.
  • Videos discussing policies, plans and other general overviews are more effective if illustrated by concrete examples that speak to specific subgroups.
  • Such videos, if they’re not time stamped, can be recycled in a year or two, or used in training sessions. 
  • Devoting a company branded Internet website to its ERM

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