Risk identification workshops: three more tips to get them right

3 min read
May 19, 2022

Most of the time and effort that risk teams invest in when delivering a risk workshop is during the preparation stage. Typically, this is due to the difficulty of engaging people – from senior leaders to junior staff members – on the subject of risk.

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Nevertheless, workshops are a helpful way to identify risks and opportunities using both a bottom-up and top-down approach. Following our previous blog on how to get risk workshops right, members have continued the discussion at member meetings, sharing their approaches to running and facilitating a workshop.

As a facilitator, there are a number of key questions to consider when preparing your risk workshop:

  • What is the purpose of the workshop? Decide what you would like to get out of the session.
  • Who is the target audience? Ensure you understand the level of understanding and/or maturity with regard to risk among the likely attendees.
  • Where will the workshop be held? This could be anywhere from a meeting room in your office to employees’ own homes (in the case of a virtual workshop).

A checklist of steps to follow – from the preparation stage to follow-up actions once the workshop has taken place – can be accessed via our Intelligence platform.

Here are three more key tips on how to plan and execute a successful risk workshop:

1. Profile your attendees

If you’re trying to get a risk workshop off the ground at your company, you first need to understand what the key drivers are for people in your organisation to take part. Typically, there will be three types of team member who may (or may not) want to attend:

  • Decision-makers – These are people who actually decide whether or not the risk workshop is worthwhile and who will get the most value out of attending.
  • Influencers – While they may not be the decision-maker in the team, they are able to sway the opinion of the team leader and get them on board with a risk workshop.
  • Blockers – There will usually be someone in a team who thinks the workshop is a waste of time: you need to convince them otherwise.

By applying these basic profiles to each team member, you can determine who to target when setting up your risk workshop and getting people involved.

2. Use tools and technologies to engage people

Once you have set up your risk workshop and convinced employees to attend, the next challenge is to maintain engagement throughout the workshop itself.

An effective way of doing this – particularly in the context of virtual workshops – is to use digital tools and services to make the session more interactive. Below are three tools you might want to consider:

  • Poll Everywhere – A tool for audience polling; good way to stimulate discussion.
  • Meeting Sphere – Enables voting and immediately focuses on the top three answers.
  • Slido – An audience interaction tool that can be used to hold quick votes on contentious issues.

3. Schedule follow-up meetings

Although the workshop may have run smoothly, it’s important to maximise on the value of the session and ensure that any key ideas or pieces of information have been communicated successfully.

In order to do this, you could ask those who attended the risk workshop to carry out further reading or host one-to-one/small group meetings to refresh people’s memories about the key takeaways. Follow-up meetings can also be useful for getting feedback on how the workshop could be improved in the future.

Ultimately, the role of the risk function in running a risk workshop is to help animate and motivate attendees, and to facilitate conversation. In that sense, the facilitator’s role is ‘process jockey’ for the session: they need to ensure the discussion takes place in an effective way and record any key findings.

For more practical strategies on how to facilitate and run a risk workshop – as well as a further insight into the tools and technologies members are using in their own sessions, find out more about membership here.

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