The Art of Strategic ERM™

Risk Lingo

Posted by John Drew on

How many of you know more than one spoken language? (emoji doesn’t count)

More than two languages? Or three?

And of those, how many can you speak well enough to be humorous?

Ordering breakfast in another language is one thing, but make someone laugh… Or be nuanced enough to be truly one with the culture of those who speak that language… That’s knowing a language fluently.

It’s not easy. But it’s an important distinction.

How about when your Risk Analysts show up at your meeting… Are you rolling your eyes? Do you need an interpreter? A special decoder ring?

When they say something is “high-risk”? Is it really?

When they say something is “low-risk”? Do you believe them?

You see, saying something is “high-risk” or “low-risk” for example, can mean very different things to two different cultures.

Same goes for different organizations in different business climates or regions.

And matched up against different Risk appetites, or Risk heat maps with different goals and objectives…

Well, you get the idea.

At it’s very essence, a culture lives and dies by its language.

Let’s start with a few key vocabulary words:




…and Freedom. 



Business Culture CECL Compliance Credit Risk ECRM ERM Freedom June 2018 Leadership Risk Risk Management

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