I’ve given some thought to what makes a good risk manager. When I started writing this, it occurred to me that I had seen a lot of those characteristics before.
In 2004, the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario, in London, Ontario, Canada, began The Ivey Ring Tradition. And since 2004, every Ivey grad takes the Ivey Pledge and receives a number ring. I wear my #2128 every day because it reminds me of what I believe in and stand for. I bring these beliefs to my engagements and jobs.
Do you want to know what makes a great risk manager? Find a quiet place, in your office or house and read the Ivey Pledge (or replace the Ivey parts with whatever you want.) Hopefully, you will distill enough of the attributes from this text which you can apply to your situation.
Please understand that as a risk manager, you will experience a lot of resistance to what you are trying to carry out. But believe in your passion and above all believe in the truth. In risk management there is no right or wrong; there is only the truth. For many, they would rather obfuscate the truth because it makes their stock options more valuable or it conceals their inadequacies. Only once you cut through the organizational bullshit and find the truth, will any real risk management happen.
I, _________, standing before my mentors and my peers, commit myself to venerate the traditions, reputation and integrity of the practice of business.
I accept entry into an exclusive network of Ivey Business School Alumni. I acknowledge the responsibilities and value the benefits of being a member of such an association.
I will, to the best of my ability, act honourably and ethically in all my dealings, in the belief and knowledge that doing so will lead to a greater good.
I will express my ideas and opinions openly and without reservation, so long as they do not impinge on the rights and freedoms of others, whoever they may be.
I will endeavour to act with moral clarity, grace and nobility.
I understand that I am now a member of a distinguished community.
I will strive to uphold the standing of the community, with special obligation placed on encouraging and championing the pursuits of my fellow members.
I will acknowledge my limitations and my mistakes so that I may learn from them.
I will continue to seek new knowledge, never resting on past wisdom or successes.
Above all, I will aspire to make a positive contribution to my society.
I promise to uphold the traditions, integrity and high standards set by those Alumni that came before me.
I promise this to myself, my family, my fellow Alumni and my School.
I accept this Ivey Pledge freely and upon my honour.