#TrusteeWeek Top 5 Countdown – No. 4

05 November 19

It’s the Gallanach #TrusteeWeek top 5 countdown time.

Coming in at number 4 on board activities that trustees could do better is….



Don’t scroll to another post.

I know risk is one of those board topics that bores, baffles and exasperates many Trustees in equal measure. Usually, as it’s presented in a template risk register format with multiple scoring where little changes between reports and minimal input from Trustees.

But it’s really important.  And it needn’t bore, baffle or exasperate if done in a more relevant and engaging way.

Here are some ideas how to bring risk to life at board.

  1. Give it another name.  Uncertainty, Strategic Hazards and Keeping Us Safe are all replacement names I’ve seen used in other organisations.
  2. Focus on the few and biggest risks.  Boards should be concerned about the major risks not the myriad of minor ones.
  3. Make it visual.  Use charts and colours to highlight levels and changes in risk.
  4. Make it dynamic.  Risks will change over time so track the changes and ensure emerging risks are included early.
  5. Make it part of all board decision making.  Ask what are the risks and benefits.  Decide how much risk you are willing to take with a decision
  6. Involve Trustees in the design and review of how you do risk.  This ensures they understand the importance and work with it more effectively.

If you find a way of engaging your board fully with risk, your charity will be in a stronger place.

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Whilst working as a Partner at Foot Anstey, I worked with Norman on a number of projects, including a complex negotiation on a £multi-million, multi-stakeholder local authority contract. The whole collaboration benefitted from the fact that Norman knows how to listen to others and when to speak and act, and was always quick to grasp the technical detail of (often complex) issues and hone in on pragmatic, viable solutions. I can unequivocally say that whomever Norman works with is lucky to have his attention and his insights.  The fact that he’s a nice guy on top of that is a welcome bonus!

Al Goodwin – Head of Commercial, SC Group-Global Ltd