Dodging a Zero-Risk Mentality

December 20th, 2019
But still taking a calculated view

“The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.“ Mark Zuckerberg

Seeking out a zero-risk option in your business often occurs after either making a series of bad decisions or when you are just not that used to taking risks.  Both scenarios can be underpinned by fear.  However, all situations carry some degree of risk so seeking a way of eliminating all risk is futile.

What can you do to be more comfortable with taking some degree of risk to more effectively take your business forward?

Maybe reframe how you think about risk.  Risk aversion can actually be a good thing if you can use it to help you better evaluate the options you have available rather than try to eliminate risk.  Playing this role yourself or having someone with this tendency within your team can be a good thing as it may prompt the exploration of further options.  These are the options which would have otherwise been overlooked.  Having a critic in the room can feel draining at times, but as Robert Dilts’ Disney Method shows us, the best decisions and creativity are derived with input from the dreamer, planner and the critic.

The role of a critic in a team is to assess:

  • what could be wrong with an idea?
  • what is missing?
  • why can it not be done?
  • what are the weaknesses?

From experience, asking these questions does not remove risk when developing a new idea but it does, alongside the dreamer and planner views, help to create additional options and manage risk more effectively.   Risk can be more calculated.

“Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash.” George S. Patton

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