The Only Risk With Your Community is Not Taking Risks

I get it. Everyone does. Margins are too tight these days to unnecessarily take risks, regardless of your business and its customer retention model. But there’s an equal, if not greater danger in actively avoiding all risks, and it’s an easy mindset to fall into.

Chasing Fast ROIs

Emily Wenstrom makes a perfect point over at when she highlights how the more timid members can actually has a huge, often destructive presence during idea generation sessions.

“Sure, at the end of the day, ROI is what companies are about,” she says. “But people who hound this point on a fresh idea are usually looking to eliminate all the risk factors associated with trying something new. Should a project fail to deliver that target ROI from the outset, the ROI assurance-seeker has the ammunition to shut the effort down and a quick finger on the trigger.”

Chasing the “Good” Idea

Wenstrom goes on to say, quite reassuringly, that you’re unlikely to nail those ideal ROIs on your first attempt, especially if it’s something new that you’re trying.


I have a philosophy on this, which repeatedly proves itself to be, for the most part, true. One in 10 of your ideas will be good, and might work. I say 10, but that’s just my way of being abstract. The point is, the “good” idea is a rarity, but it’s never very far away.

But you can’t sit down, plan things out ultra-carefully and simply skip over the nine ideas that don’t pan out. The rubble of those are the hardcore foundations that Idea 10 is built on. Skip them, and the great, successful idea you’ve been working toward will fall over, because its foundations are too flimsy.

It takes some effort to accept the nine discarded ideas, and that’s where the risk taking comes in.

Chasing the Risk

So if you’re looking to grow and enrich your community, do it by being just a little bit fearless. And if you’re in a managerial position, try to picture yourself from across the room when you feel your throat tighten when employees are asking to try something extreme, unusual, new or, yes, risky. Extend your support, and your trust.

Donal Daly offers some top tips on why that risk is worth taking. Here’s a short selection of his solid thoughts on the subject.

  • You’re driven to learn new skills.
  • Embracing risk helps you to overcome the fear of failure.
  • You uncover unforeseen opportunities.
  • You learn to trust more, because you have to.