Guest reviewers choice

A short guide to risk appetite

Book review by Richard Thomas - A Short Guide to Risk Appetite by David Hillson and Ruth Murray-Webster 

Routledge; New edition ISBN-13: 978-1409440949

This book is for senior managers, and those who aspire to be one, who make decisions on risk, but who are not ‘risk specialists’. I found this book helps improve the decision-making in uncertain, important situations by explaining the conscious and sub-conscious influences that would-be decision maker ought to be aware of. 

In 150 pages the authors neatly illustrate how a more mature understanding of the overall risk position is reached by considering the the ‘attitude’ in parallel with the organisation’s culture and individual’s preferences for taking risk – their ‘appetite’. 

In short it provides a framework to help better informed conversations over how much risk is being carried. I would say this insight is a useful reference for anyone leading a project and/or making the business case for additional resources; it can be digested as a ‘commuter’s read’, yet provides a handful of terminology that will help you stand out as understanding the nuances of how to make good decisions in risk management, and the influences at play.

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Richard Thomas

Profile - Guest Reviewer - Richard Thomas

Richard is Deputy Commander of Regional Forces in the Royal Navy and leads the coordination of their engagement with the UK’s wider society and provision of regional advice in respect to emergency planning.

In a career spanning 28 years in the Royal Navy, he was selected to Command at Sea as a result of exemplary leadership, led the Royal Navy’s Reform Change Team, and has carried out various strategic and operational leadership roles.

Previously awarded a sabbatical to gain his MBA, he is now a sponsored post graduate research student, studying part time for a DBA addressing strategic decision making in risk management.

Richard is a Fellow of the CMI and a Chartered Manager. He served as Co-Chair of London and South East Regional Board between 2013 and 2015 and was elected to the Board in September 2015 for a 3 year term. 

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