Sharon Zezima, General Counsel at Go Pro Inc., discussed how organizations can identify and manage risk during her presentation at the 2015 Chief Legal Officer Leadership Forum in San Francisco on April 21. In her presentation, “Risk Management in High Growth, Entrepreneurial Companies (or, How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Bomb),” Zezima pointed out that organizations that embrace change can manage risks consistently.
According to Zezima, today’s general counsel holds many roles within an organization. However, she also pointed out that a general counsel should always strive to be an innovator. In addition, Zezima noted that a general counsel should understand risk and act as a business partner for his or her organization: “Are we on one hand risk managers or are we business partners? Yes, yes, obviously we’re both. I think we all know that. Yes, by the way, is also the answer when you’re in a high growth entrepreneurial company, the answer that you give your clients whenever they ask you if you can do something. It’s always yes. It might be yes and here’s how you might do it in a way that’s slightly different than the way you presented, but it’s yes.”
Risk management requires a general counsel to understand his or her role within an organization, Zezima said. And by doing so, Zezima noted that a general counsel can reflect his or her organization’s values every day: “Risk management in a high growth entrepreneurial company is how to constantly balance those two things, how to be a risk manager and how to be a business partner. At Go Pro, it’s how to get comfortable with a high degree of risk every day in the workplace.”