Melanie Herman, of the Nonprofit Risk Manager Center, recently published her RISK eNewsletter and I wanted to share a great little excerpt. I hope you find it as helpful as I did. In essence, it’s a reminder to not allow your discomfort with uncertainty to dampen your commitment to engage the Board in a discussion on the crucial strategic risks facing your NSO. If you’re working on your next Board agenda, consider the questions below.
Invite the Board to discuss these questions as a way to engage in a high level conversation about risk-taking and risk management in your context.
1. Risk-Taking: What big risks are worth embracing in 2013 to advance our mission?
2. Risk Landscape: What mission-related risks are starting to emerge on our horizon? What additional information do we require to understand and act?
3. Lemons from Lemonade: What seeds of opportunity exist in the risks we fear the most? (e.g., the threat of funding cutbacks could compel us to finally move ahead with a new business model)
4. Progressive Lens: Are we using our collective, progressive lenses to reflect on our past, appreciate our present, and anticipate our future, or only seeing “risk” through a single lens?
5. Risk Oversight: Is this board contributing to a shared understanding of the organization’s top risks?
6. Lessons Learned: During the past year what important lessons did we learn from our “crowning achievement” and from our biggest disappointment?
7. Risk Resources: Have we made an appropriate commitment in terms of personnel time and financial resources to understand the risks we face and make adjustments as needed?
As always, if you need to discuss any of the above, please drop me a line – firstname.lastname@example.org