City Council

City Council


This Council was concerned that it was too risk averse and overly bureaucratic. It recognised that its slow pace and negative bias of decision-making made for an unsatisfactory pace of change in relation to its delivery of local services and journey of continuous improvement. 

The Council’s CEO was committed to i) transforming the way in which the Council manages risk, using it as a positive enabler of performance and ii) building external stakeholder trust in the Council’s ability to manage risk and opportunity.

How did we do it?

Our approach was to deliver bespoke interactive risk workshops to the Corporate Leadership Team and the Council’s Divisional Directors. These workshops focused on topics including:

  • What is risk-based thinking? How does it support risk-informed decision making?
  • Indicators of risk management maturity, using examples of best practice
  • Indicators of good risk culture, using examples of best practice
  • Risk as threat and opportunity
  • Tools for looking at “upside” and “downside” risk in line with risk appetite
  • How are our individual perceptions of risk shaped?
  • How does individual risk tolerance affect daily decision-making?
  • Tools and techniques to support opportunity management


This project delivered:

  • Senior management assessment of current state and articulation of desired state in relation to risk maturity
  • Senior management evaluation of current risk culture and identification of “quick wins”
  • A shift in senior management mindset and language around negative and positive risk
  • Recommendations for improvements to risk processes and tools to ensure that both threat and opportunity can be identified, assessed, evaluated and monitored
  • Senior management-sponsored action plan to increase the Council’s risk management capability towards its desired state