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Progression Graphic

Progressive risk control integrated with strategy and performance management
keeping risk management and internal control interesting and useful

by Matthew Leitch, 21 November 2008

Abstract: This interactive article explores the idea of keeping risk control (i.e. risk management and internal control) interesting and useful to people by repeatedly improving the methods used by each team, building on their previous progress rather than just updating it. The idea is to keep up a flow of fresh insights. Along the way, risk control is closely integrated with other management thinking. The technical basis for the improvements is to develop mental models as the basis for management thinking, including risk analysis. The interactive polls in this article provided information about what most people think and you can see it as you work through. You can do the interactive version of this article and answer the questions yourself, which is more involving, or you can just click through to the non-interactive version.

Key words: risk management, internal control, performance management, strategy, Balanced Scorecard, Kaplan & Norton, Constructive Simplicity, Chapman & Ward.

Non-interactive version

Some common ground

Before getting into the technicalities of mental models and the derivation of risk analyses, let's establish some common ground about what would make sense for management thinking processes, if we knew how to do it.

This article is interactive so that I learn something from you as you are learning from me. So far I've learned that most people already believe the main principles promoted by the article, even though they sometimes conflict with common practices, so I hope the technical suggestions included in the article are useful.

For each of the questions just click once on the button in the box that holds the answer you prefer and then the next part of the article will appear. If you come out of the page your progress should be saved in a cookie and when you go in again you will be offered the opportunity to carry on. (The technology used is dynamic HTML, Javascript, and a cookie, so it should work on the most common browsers and you can view the code, if you like, to confirm it is safe.)

Incidentally, you will see the same text whatever answers you give. Most people who start continue to the end, even if they don't agree entirely with the views I express.


© 2008 Matthew Leitch
New website, new perspective: - Related articles - All articles - The author - Services

If you found any of these points relevant to you or your organisation please feel free to contact me to talk about them, pass links or extracts on to colleagues, or just let me know what you think. I can sometimes respond immediately, but usually respond within a few days. Contact details

Matthew Leitch - Author

About the author: Matthew Leitch is a tutor, researcher, author, and independent consultant who helps people to a better understanding and use of integral management of risk within core management activities, such as planning and design. He is also the author of the new website,, and has written two breakthrough books. Intelligent internal control and risk management is a powerful and original approach including 60 controls that most organizations should use more. A pocket guide to risk mathematics: Key concepts every auditor should know is the first to provide a strong conceptual understanding of mathematics to auditors who are not mathematicians, without the need to wade through mathematical symbols. Matthew is a Chartered Accountant with a degree in psychology whose past career includes software development, marketing, auditing, accounting, and consulting. He spent 7 years as a controls specialist with PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he pioneered new methods for designing internal control systems for large scale business and financial processes, through projects for internationally known clients. Today he is well known as an expert in uncertainty and how to deal with it, and an increasingly sought after tutor (i.e. one-to-one teacher). more

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