In a financial services organization without an institutionalized risk management culture, employees often make the wrong decision even in the face of good policies. A business unit within that organization may place bets the firm can't cover. Executive management and the board may not know of their exposure to these risks until it is too late to save the firm. A lack of a risk-oriented culture is flying blind with uninformed pilots at the helm.

In a well-controlled organization with an institutionalized risk management culture, however, employees will do the right thing even in the face of unclear policies. Organizations that establish a strong risk management culture will foster risk-informed decision making that ensures its long-term viability.

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