An Apple executive once said, “We take risks knowing that risk will sometimes result in failure, but without the possibility of failure there is no possibility of success.”
These words ring true.
However, in today's volatile work environment, where people are reminded daily that their jobs may not be there tomorrow, many just don't want to rock the boat.
Managers and leaders may tell us that we need to grow, to get more sales, to increase revenue. However, at the same time, we see people being "let go" in our offices constantly, and in our current economy of high unemployment, most people just don't want to risk jeopardizing the jobs that they do have.
Let me just say this:
AVERSION TO RISK IS NOT GOING TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS!
Let's look at this in a different way. Both managers and employees need to be rewarded and positively reinforced for taking risks, and not be given these mixed messages if you want to encourage more risk-taking in your company or from your team.
Managers should make an effort to reduce the mixed signals and forge an environment where the benefits of taking a risk are greater than the costs. Of course, not all risk taking ventures will lead to success.
However, it's what we learn from those mistakes that will keep pushing you in the direction towards success. In the meantime, employees, and managers, should not be chastised for their failures. Give them the support to get back "on the horse", each time a little bit wiser than before.
Also keep in mind that stress and anxiety can spread quickly through a company or division. Innovation and creativity will be extinguished If an environment is not created where people can take risks and occasionally fail. Without innovation, there will be no growth, and without growth, there will no longer be a company to worry about.
Allow for short periods of time to "test out" a new innovation or idea. Make sure that your team knows that success or failure, it should be looked at as a "hands on" way of learning. You could read about something in a book all you want, but if it is not practiced and tried out, none of it will matter.
An important point about taking risks it to do them intelligently – taking all of the necessary steps and preparations beforehand that will allow you to be innovative with confidence. Taking risks does not mean you just wake up with an idea one day, and decide to test it out. You need to do your homework – test out your thoughts – talk them out with other employees and/or management. Good managers will always keep an open door policy when it comes to hearing about new and improved ways to generate income for the company, or to provide a better service to its clients. Those who aren't are putting a nail in the coffin.
Life is one big risk, but it doesn’t have to be something to steer away from.
There is risk in everything you do – whether making big decisions on the job, in your personal life or in your career. You must push and challenge yourself to meet the requirements. Risk allow you to put yourself out there to reach your goals. You can’t do anything really big in life without facing some degree of risk.
Don’t be intimidated by it.