I can’t state strongly enough how excited I am to introduce an innovative new tool created by us here at Rethink Compliance. Who Owns the Risk? is a card game designed to foster real, insightful discussion about compliance and ethics risk at your organization — and we can’t wait to introduce it to you!

"Who Owns The Risk?" cards

What the heck is that, you ask? Well, I love me an origin story, and this one is no exception ….

Last year, our founder and CEO, Kirsten Liston, and I visited a number of Rethink clients to do a temperature check. We wanted to hear how we’re doing as a trusted partner — and what we could be doing better. 

As part of those discussions, we asked our clients, “Is there anything you’re looking for in the marketplace that you haven’t found yet?” Some of the folks with whom we met didn’t have an answer to that question, while most others talked in general terms. But then, we had a moment with one of our most wonderful, talented, and passionate clients … and that moment led us here.

The client in question directs the compliance and ethics program at a large, complex, global organization. Her job is big, and it is challenging. And one of her biggest challenges is risk assessment — how to get her business partners to engage in meaningful discussion about compliance risk and how to educate them on managing those risks. With those challenges in mind, she jumped at the chance to respond to our inquiry. “Yes,” she answered, “I AM looking for something that I haven’t been able to find!” 

She then went on to describe an exercise in which she and her husband engaged during the ongoing journey of a long-lasting marriage — an eye-opening exchange about who does what in their household. A list of tasks as mundane as doing the dishes and folding laundry helped to facilitate a discussion about the unequal distribution of work within their household. Here’s the specific example she shared: 

When asked who handles the mail in their house, her husband immediately identified the mail as his task. Our client challenged him by asking, in a non-confrontational manner, how he defined “handling the mail.” To him, handling the mail meant simply bringing the mail inside from the outside mailbox. She pointed out that, after he brings the mail inside, she then opens the mail, sorts the mail, recycles the junk mail, distributes the mail, and addresses the mail requiring a next step — like paying the bills.

And that’s when the magic happened. 🪄 Or, put another way, the lightbulb went on. 💡 During the ensuing discussion, her husband came to understand that he only plays a small role in “handling the mail” — and that a lot more goes into managing that simple household task than he actually appreciated … until that very moment.

“And THAT’S the kind of discussion we need to be having about compliance risks! I just wish I had a tool to help facilitate those conversations. Like a deck of cards or a game or something.” And THAT’S where we come in.

When Kirsten and I left the meeting, we grabbed each other by the hand and excitedly talked about what it would take to create a product designed to assist with risk assessment and the identification of risk owners and related controls. And hence Who Owns the Risk? was born! 

Rethink’s incredibly talented Creative Services group teamed up with our Advisory Services experts to develop a set of cards for us — and our clients — to use when assessing risk.

And we can’t wait to show you how it works, so stay tuned to hear more…!