Risk is something that strikes fear in the mind of most people. This is because there is danger of loss and harm, which comes along with the concept of risk. When one is young and a little reckless, the concept of risk also holds some magnetic charm and an allure that gives a thrill and quite some spine tingling enjoyment. Take for instance, a kid who risks being caught stealing from the fridge at night. As they say, stolen fruits seem the sweetest and it is the element of risk that enhances the pleasure and the novelty of the act. But then, risk also means that one has to be prepared for the worst as there are always two sides to the coin. To the winner go the spoils, but losers have to lick their wounds and count the cost. Life in uncertain and while there is an upside, one could also have to face the ignominy of the downside. The ability to take risk is what distinguishes the brave and the courageous from those who would prefer to watch from the sidelines. In a corporate sense, taking risk means sticking one’s neck out and trying to do things differently. It also means the ability to do things away from the path taken often and go for innovative measures. For instance, a company could have a successful product or service, but tries to introduce something radically different in the market. There is an element of risk in such a move as success could bring great rewards, but at the same time if the strategy bombs, there would be loss of face for the company, harm to the brand name as well as financial losses to be accounted for. All the same, one has to admit that just doing the same old things over and over again cannot be a risk free proposition because of the fast rate of obsolescence. One is only good as long as one’s technology, products and services are differentiated and can stand out in a crowded market. If a company is averse to risk and unable or unwilling to innovate and invent, it would get lost in the cacophony of voices in terms of competing entities that are crowding the market place. No one is advocating foolhardiness or recklessness. On one end of the spectrum is risk aversion while on the other is a cowboy kind of style that may not consider all the parameters adequately. Taking the middle path in terms of calculated risks is the best way to move ahead in these uncertain times.
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