The People Side of Risk

The Risk Type Compass: The Key to Good Decision-Making

The key to effective risk management is understanding the Risk Type of your employees or clients. To appreciate the implications for decision making under uncertainty we need to focus on individual differences in the ways that we perceive risk and react to it – the people side of risk. With one person’s risk being another person’s opportunity, the risk personality of individuals will have a subsequent impact on performance improvement, team development and act as a catalyst in building an effective organisational culture. 

Based on extensive psychological research, the Risk Type Compass personality assessment places individuals into one of eight distinctive Risk Types. By identifying natural differences in risk appetite, you can maximise potential and balance the contributions of risk-takers and more risk-averse individuals.

A valuable tool both within organisations as well as for individual leadership development, the assessment is easily administered online and takes just 10-20 minutes to complete. In order to administer the Risk Type Compass tool to employees or clients, you must first complete a qualification workshop, either face-to-face or via our online learning platform. This certification course will provide extensive information on how to interpret and give feedback on an individual’s risk profile, guidance on facilitating team development sessions as well as an overview of how to apply the tool to support risk culture strategy. Scroll down to learn more about key applications of the tool, or learn about our certification training here. 

If you’d like to speak to one of our highly qualified Consultant Psychologists about the tool, contact Louisa Bülow.

Click here to view our pricelist and brochure.

We’ve created a short video to illustrate how the tool can be applied at an individual, team and organisational level. 

Additional Resources

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Key Applications

Selection & Development

Risk Type has implications for different roles within an organisation, with sales, compliance, traders and HR, for example, all exposed to very different aspects of risk. From hiring the right person, to on-the-job coaching and personal development, the Risk Type Compass helps you understand an individual’s risk attitude and helps inform decisions at an individual, team and corporate level. See sample Risk Type Report and Personal Report.

Risk Management

Looking at the ‘human factor’ or the people side of of risk management, the Risk Type Compass helps organisations to attain their risk management goals. It significantly improves human factor due diligence and risk management effectiveness by raising awareness of an individual’s predisposition to risk and how that may manifest in a team.

Corporate Governance 

The Risk Type Compass tool can support compliance with the Financial Reporting Council’s UK Corporate Governance Code when board members are assessing the level of risk the organisation is facing from internal, emerging and principal sources. Contact us to learn more.  

Team Building

The Risk Type Compass can be used to develop teams, groups and executive boards. By assessing different team members Risk Type and attitude, imbalances or the potential for conflict can be identified and mitigated, ensuring a balance of behaviours across the organisation. See sample Team Report.


Risk Type Landscape

By mapping the location and prevalence of Risk Types within an organisation, Risk Type Compass enables risk propensity to be identified and managed. Viewing the Risk Type Landscape in a tangible way allows organisations to make decisions about the overall risk culture and the extent to which there are departmental or divisional differences.

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Though applicable to all industry sectors, the Risk Type Compass has particular relevance within the banking and finance, health and safety, insurance, energy, manufacturing and consulting sectors. Visit our Knowledge Bank to see the full range of Risk Type Compass resources.

Trading: The Risk Type Compass has been widely used to determine the Risk Types of traders. By understanding more about their natural skills, capabilities and blindspots, traders are able to determine the strategies and tactics that work with their personality and avoid those that create stress and sub-optimal performance. Watch our webinar on how understanding risk type can impact trader performance here.
Heavy industry: The Risk Type Compass has been used extensively in heavy industry where risk management is crucial. Turning attention to the human factor, the Risk Type Compass facilitates more effective management of staff in hazardous situations; it provides a common developmental language and framework for staff and managers to engage with. Watch our webinar on how to enhance your H&S strategy by addressing the people element.
Financial Services: Risk Type Compass is frequently used in wealth management and financial advising, ensuring fiduciary and compliance obligations are met in regards to assessing a client’s propensity for financial risk. The Risk Type Compass report helps advisors assess a client’s risk appetite and steer them towards appropriate investment decisions. See sample Financial Advisor Report and Investor Report.

Thought Leadership

Risk Type Summit | November 2019

Risk Type Summit | November 2019

Last month, we held our second annual conference at the Wellcome Collection in Central London - this time focusing on our very own Risk Type Compass tool. It was fantastic to speak to our clients and introduce ourselves and the Risk Type Compass to new...

Reproducing Risk Type

Reproducing Risk Type

This blog post is adapted from an article published in the Summer 2019 edition of the British Psychological Society's Assessment & Development Matters journal. It can be accessed here. Back in 2016, we conducted research with 90 participants competing in...

Managing Risk Before It Becomes A Statistic

Managing Risk Before It Becomes A Statistic

Within the wider discussion about risk (see discussion from Sidney Dekker, Michael Mazarr, and John Adams, amongst others) there is a common theme in both finance and Health & Safety that questions over-reliance on computational, procedural,...

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Get Your Risk Type T-Shirt

Showcase your Risk Type on a t-shirt! Click here to explore our range of risk apparel. If you don’t know your Risk Type, get in touch with our team to find out.