Which Personalities Are Best Suited to Risk Management?

Kachina Shaw

Are you an introvert? Are you a reactive introvert?

Congratulations: You are well-suited to a career in risk management.

But, wait: Maturity in enterprise risk management itself as well as in the risk maturity of organizations means future generations of risk managers may be of the proactive introvert persuasion.

This prediction comes in part from the results of a survey of practicing risk managers by Active Risk. The company’s senior vice president of corporate communications, Peter Robertshaw, writes at Engineering News-Record that he conducted a survey online using the DiSC methodology to help classify answers into personality types, and found that out of 1,000 participants, 60 percent matched the “stereotypical” description of members of their profession:

“The traditional view of risk managers is that they must be analytical and cautious, numerate, precise and principled. They must show good judgment and be capable of collecting, recording and processing large amounts of data in a methodical way. Risk managers should be able to present risk data in the context of corporate governance, risk and compliance needs. Often they have been unkindly viewed as the ‘guys from the department of no,’ who sat somewhat separately from the rest of the business.”

The other 40 percent of participants were classified as proactive introverts, while at the same time, a third of the larger group had proactive  characteristics.

This is positive, since as Robertshaw notes, reactive introverts lacking the power of persuasion may not be able to carry out the evangelistic duties their organizations will increasingly require, incorporating a broader view into risk management efforts.

In order to deliver the maturing message, the new risk managers may more often fit this description, writes Robertshaw:

“These drivers are demanding and do not take no for an answer. They sort issues on the fly and sometimes break the rules. As drivers, such people are needed to embed a risk culture and drive change through organizations.”


Breaking the rules to support the rules – now that is a tough job.



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