Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers up to and including season 7 of Game of Thrones.
In the final episode of Game of Risk, we follow the noble and honorable Jon Snow throughout the seasons as he assesses and reassesses the risks he faces over time. Last episode, we looked at his antithesis, Cersei Lannister and how her personality and ethics could play out in a corporate scenario.
Aegon of House Targaryen, Sixth of His Name, Warden of the North,
998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch (formerly),
King in the North (formerly), Rightful Heir to the Iron Throne,
Rightful King of the Andals and the First Men.
“You all crowned me your King. I never wanted it. I never asked for it. But I accepted it because the North is my home! It’s part of me, and I will never stop fighting for it, no matter the odds!”
– Jon Snow
ASX Corporate Governance Council Recommendation 7 is to recognize and manage risk and this is exactly what Jon has done. Ever since the battle against the White Walkers at Hardhome, Jon has realized that the risk posed by the Night King is both highly proximate and has catastrophic consequences. Boards and executives should use risk to guide their decision-making and a useful tool is to develop a risk register. A risk register is a schedule of all risks, financial and non-financial, that the business faces. Each risk is measured on two scales, likelihood and consequence and an average is taken. Any risks labeled high should be addressed at board meetings and during strategic planning so that mitigative or preventative action can be taken. Each business will have a different appetite for risk depending on the stage of growth, objectives, and MTP (Massive Transformative Purpose).
A common downfall when using a risk register is a lack of maintenance. Risks are not static, they are ever-changing and need to be reassessed in light of new information every month or at the very least quarterly. Fortunately, I have been able to track down the original parchments that Jon Snow used to write his risk registers during seasons 2, 5 and 7. These will show the dynamic nature of risks as well as Jon’s expertise in governance. I can only assume Jon is writing his risk register for risks that threaten his home, The North. He also uses the following rating system to rate his risks.
Jon has traveled north of The Wall with the Night’s Watch to try to find his uncle, Benjen Stark. The ranging party stops at Craster’s Keep where Jon learns that Craster sacrifices newborn males to the White Walkers. He is eventually captured by the wildling Ygritte (may the Old Gods rest her beautiful soul), who claims Jon Snow knows nothing (she obviously hasn’t seen his governance prowess), and is taken to the King Beyond the Wall, Mance Rayder, where he sees the vast army of wildlings beyond The Wall. As yet, Jon hasn’t realized the full danger of the White Walkers and their army of wights.
Jon has just risen to Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch and has a large number of wildlings stationed at Castle Black. There is growing discontent amongst a faction of the Night’s Watchmen with Jon’s leadership. Jon has had a few more encounters with the White Walkers and has heard many stories from the wildlings about their danger. He is preparing to leave Castle Black to go to Hardhome to rescue the remaining wildlings.
Jon experienced first-hand the horror of the White Walkers at Hardhome. He has died in a mutiny at Castle Black and since been resurrected. He has reclaimed Winterfell from the hands of Ramsay Bolton and been crowned King in the North. He has traveled to Dragonstone in search of an ally in Daenerys Targaryen. Recently, he again ventured north of The Wall to abduct a wight to show to Cersei Lannister in an attempt to convince her of the threat the undead pose. He is currently on his way to meet with Cersei, Daenerys and the other rulers of the land to broker a truce and turn their attention to the threat beyond The Wall.
“The Long Night is coming, and the dead come with it. No clan can stop them. The Free Folk can’t stop them, the Night’s Watch can’t stop them, and all the southern kings can’t stop them! Only together. All of us. And even then, it may not be enough, but at least we give the fuckers a fight.”
– Jon Snow acutely aware of the White Walker risk
Whether Jon will sit atop the Iron Throne is difficult to say but you can guarantee that all he will be concerned with is the highest risk on his register. I wonder what season 8 will hold…
Whether you are leading a company or ruling the Seven Kingdoms, remember that proper corporate governance and strategic planning through the lens of risk management plays a vital role in your success. Think big, plan for the future and consider your risks because if Games of Thrones has taught me anything, it is this: those who don’t consider risk, perish. Valar Morghulis.
Episode 1: Robert Baratheon and Succession Planning
Episode 2: Robb Stark and Risk Appetite
Episode 3: Joffrey Baratheon and Board Charters
Episode 4: Tommen Baratheon and Independent Directors
Episode 6: Cersei Lannister and Ethical Conduct
Written By: Patrick Deruvo
- Feature Image provided by HBO