Liberating Leadership, Innovation and Creativity

Why avoiding RISKS is SO RISKY

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The fear and avoidance of risk taking can be the greatest roadblock to innovation, creativity, growth, intrapreneurialism and business success. Taking risks can evoke unnecessary fear in people, because the idea of taking a risk implies the notion of being reckless, when in fact, the two are not one and the same.

Taking a risk in any aspect of life is never something that should be done lightly or without careful consideration. Deciding on taking a calculated, well-researched and informed risk can lead to innovation and success. The world is moving at too fast a pace for business leaders to stand stagnant and not lead by example. Without diligent risk taking, innovation will halt. Playing it safe could be your greatest mistake.

Here are 7 reasons why taking a risk can pay off

  1. To be successful in business, risk taking is inevitable: No business has ever been successful without an element of risk taking. Hiring staff is risky, applying for loans is risky, and leaving a well paying job to go solo is risky. Any business venture worth its salt involves taking a leap of faith, so it is far better to embrace it than to avoid it.
  2. Taking a risk is different to taking a gamble: Too many people mistake taking a risk as taking a gamble. When in fact, they are two entirely different concepts. Successful people take small, calculated risks regularly to work towards their goals and objectives. Taking a risk is not about taking a gamble and putting all of your eggs in the one basket; it is, in fact quite the opposite. It is about doing your homework, strategizing and hatching a plan to create opportunity.
  3. No more “What if’s”: Taking a risk does not necessarily result in success, but if you don’t give new things a go then how will you ever know? Sometimes, you need to push out of your comfort zone in order to reach new heights. It may not always go your way, but what you learn from your mistakes will set you up for future success and you will at least be able to eliminate the “what if’s”!
  4. Innovation can’t take place without risk taking: Innovation is all about doing things in a new way; looking for fresh ideas, different methods and creative concepts. It is all too easy to get stuck in a rut and continue to do things the same way that they have always been done, but falling trap to that antiquated way of thinking stunts innovation and development.
  5. Taking risks creates greater job satisfaction: People thrive when they are creating and achieving and that is why calculated risk taking is so closely linked to overall job satisfaction. When workers push boundaries and be innovative, they get a great sense of pride in themselves and in the work that they are doing. This creates a positive mindset and a productive and proactive work environment.
  6. Risk taking creates opportunity: Consumer demands and expectations are constantly changing and that is why it is essential for businesses to be in a constant state of growth and development. They need to be able to predict and cater to changing consumer demands and act accordingly. Successful business leaders acknowledge and accept that risk is simply a cost of opportunity and without it, growth is prevented and business opportunity lost.
  7. Being a risk taker gives you a competitive advantage: Most people naturally shy away from taking risks, so this is why those who are brave enough to try new things have a competitive advantage. Having an adaptable and ever-changing attitude and business disposition allows you to see and take advantage of opportunities that others are not willing to embrace.

To be successful in any area of life involves an element of risk. The key is to be clever about the risks that you take and to weigh up when the advantages of taking a risk outweigh the negatives. No one is suggesting that you throw caution to the wind and behave recklessly, but being afraid to try new things, embrace progressive thinking, or taking calculated risks could be the biggest mistake you could ever make in business!