Risk Taking, Risk Avoidance & Risk Management

Only a few years ago my approach to business was very much along the lines of risk avoidance. I didn’t want to take risk, not at all.
In the last few years I have spent more time than ever with risk takers. Talking and meeting with these people has been, and continues to be, extremely stimulating. Through conversations I realised that, despite my previous perceptions, there was an ounce of entrepreneurship within me. In fact, not an ounce but a seed and like all seeds it needed nurturing to grow. I have been focussing on this ever since and channelling my energy and time toward this.
One key skill that I realised I have is that of risk management. Through avoiding risk for so long I have a great eye for identifying risks in the first place. What is different now is that I want to take risks.
Risk is stimulating and challenging. It breeds uncertainty which takes us back to challenges again. I see more and more that;
[a] taking risk is an absolute necessity in today’s world. There are far too many people out there competing with you. They are not just in your geographic location, they are global.
[b] taking risk can certainly reap rewards in much the same way that gambling can. Few people though want to gamble.
[c] the role of the Risk Manager will be key to all organisations from start-up to global. It’s not the traditional risk manager role though. This is about the literal translation – managing risk. To be explicit, it means that you need to take risks and mitigate them where possible and monitor them closely where not.For me there are few better environments to work in other than this. Let’s take risks, let’s move fast, let’s get up quickly when we fall and not slip on the same banana skin for a second time.We will all need to take risks in the future as we become more and more globalised. We’ll work with people we haven’t met before, in countries we’ve not been to. What I like immensely about this forthcoming change is how traditional project management and programme management – which I have been involved in for years – is going to change dramatically.
Management style will need to be far more innovative and creative as a direct result of your options for resourcing a project and delivering it become limitless. True project managers will need to have the fundamental skill of team building (search and selection if you prefer) and collaboration. Online communities will prevail, communities of practice, project level communities, client level communities etc etc. I’m looking forward to working with Entrepreneurs and managing teams in this new environment greatly, not all will feel the same way.