Risk management is an essential element of good governance. The failure to analyse and access risks can place a sport organisation -the size or stature does not matter - at risk.
Risks an organisation can or may face ought to be addressed. Current risks, past risks and future risks. Sport organisations and governing bodies are exposed across multiple aspects. Risks may be operations, strategy and compliance. The key is to increase awareness and effective management of these risks and understand the wider risks . As the world evolves, risk evolves. Diversity of thought plays an important part in risk management. One of the biggest risks that an organisation may face is group think. The more diversity there is on elected executive committees and boards the more probing questions will be asked. Different interpretations of standards can be time consuming. A failure to identify and punish misbehaviour can affect not only the reputation of an organisation but morale, sponsors, donors, employees and stakeholders. Conduct risk is facing a high level of intolerance. The right oversight and controls are essential.
In respect of diversity of thought it's not just about having different backgrounds, different experiences, different genders and different skillset and knowledge. It's also about understanding how people go about making decisions. Cognitive bias - not just what did you choose to do but how are you thinking. Other biases that can comprise risk management are anchoring bias- when someone relies heavily on an initial piece of information. Another is availability bias this is when readily available information or examples influence a particular decision.
While you can't remove every threat or risk they can be managed. It's about getting important things right, following the check lists and having the right controls. To avoid danger down the line it is important that sport organisations make risk management a priority. Dire warnings about the risk of poor governance, mismanagement, conflicts of interest and corruption have existed for quite a while now. The crisis has arrived and emerged . Threats to the stability and autonomy of sport organisations are upon many organisations. The scramble to find contingency plans to minimize risks are fueling discord. Elected executive committee members are -rightly one might add- blamed for failing in their stewardship duties and for not preventing governance failures. Expectations have been raised and stakeholders are taking elected sport leaders to task and will vote them out .
Power games currently being played out within and external portend very serious developments that will decide the future. I am convinced that sport in Trinidad and Tobago possess a special indestructible strength that allows us to fall down, but to get up , to get through , and to get over. Some people call it arrogance and I say no, it is just confidence. I believe if we set our individual and collective mind on something, we can do it.
The road to good governance and better sport governance requires embracing a different attitude and culture. Risk management is one such tool. Let's do it.