When I share examples of strategies from other organizations with people, I often hear “that sounds risky.”
I respond “Absolutely!”
There is no such thing as a “no risk strategy.” Certainly some strategies are riskier than others, and we need to be responsible about the amount of risk we take. However, I think that most organizations err on the side of playing it too safe – especially very successful organizations. They don’t want to tarnish their track record and therefore act far too conservatively.
If you play it too safe then you “risk” giving up your dreams. And that is a regret that can last a lifetime.
Dr. Russ Ackoff once said that “errors of omission” – not doing things that should have been done, are worse than “errors of commission” – doing something wrong:
“Organizations fail or decline more frequently because of what they did not do than because of what they did. For example, IBM ran into serious trouble several decades ago because it did not pursue development of the small computer. Eventually it woke up . . . Kodak was slow to get into digital photography and is paying a very high price for it today.”
We can’t stand still or tread water. Today’s VUCA environment (Volatile, Uncertain, Chaotic, Ambiguous) will change quickly. Only by boldly setting our visions forward with a commitment to staying alert to that environment can we maximize our impact.
Certainly strategic contingencies can be established, but there is always risk.
Follow your dreams!