The Importance of Risk

tightrope act I was speaking with a really interesting CEO this morning after speaking at the North Shore Technology Council panel on social networks and their impact on business. This man turned companies around for a living. Complex work, if you think about it. One thing he said really struck me, and has resonated all morning.

There was a company he was once evaluating, and he mentioned that they had taken almost ZERO risk. My immediate thought was that he probably saw this as a good thing. Instead, he said, “If you don’t take risks, you can’t grow.” Wow! He knew MY answer, instead of what I thought he would say.

Risk is Important

Hours after that conversation, I spoke to a young professional who wanted to do something meaningful with his time and effort. I asked him whether he had a “lab” where he could test out potential ideas. At first, it sounded really foreign, but when I told him that most of what I’ve done in life came from trial and error, he started to see where I was going.

If you don’t try new things, you don’t discover new things. If you don’t fail, you don’t know what comes out of the failure. If you don’t risk your career, you won’t invent the job of the future.

Where are YOU Taking Risks?

The future is risky. Deciding to use social media to promote your business, augment your internal collaboration, or other uses is risky. It’s untested, or not very tested. It’s different than how people did things before. Convincing people that ads don’t work well when the folks selling ads have numbers is risky.

Where are your risks, business or personal? What are you doing to move over that crazy divide? How are you readying yourself for the inevitable fall on the face that comes with not being 100% certain? What’s your take?

Photo credit, Smiles are Free

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