Risk what is it and why should it be embraced?

Written by Julian Sykes


The last year or so I have been trying to distill thoughts centred around risk and how we perceive risk. At this point I must say I havn't read any books on this and have no idea of the theory behind risk so I could most definitely be flying in the face of current thinking.

When I think of risk I think about emotion, gut and experience, which allows us to make our decision. I think many of which have probably at some point been highlighted as not being good when judging decisions. Yet I wonder where the idea of risk and trying out new things lies? when we first tried to stand as a children, was this risk? when we make a decision on which house to buy, is that a risk? or what car?

They all seem to fit with the idea of risk based on previous experience and a kind of managed risk. So do we, as we get older reduce the exposure to risk due to the gained experience? is this then reduced further by legalisation and form filling? within jobs? The ability to hide behind this type of system allows for reduced risk but is reducing risk a good thing? we learn by risking things. Standing up could have led for us to fall down, but we learn from it and the next time we do it we might manage it. Failure seems to have become a word that is seen as negative and avoided at all costs. Yet I wonder how many things have come from failure? was penicillin or Kellog's cornflakes a failure to clean petri dishes and pans. Without these mistakes or failures who knows what would happen.

I have been thinking about this for the last few months and feel there is a need to look at failure and risk to embrace it. In a time when there is even more pressure not to fail or try things out because they might not work. Is it a perfect opportunity to add risk to the mix? can implementation of such a system allow for a change in attitude to how we see work and life in general? I was in a conversation with Alison and Angharad last night and we were discussing how things can be started and ended within 30 days. Routine is a powerful thing so I wonder if risk can be prescribed and introduced?

I feel there is something that we all need to look at. New creativity and ideas which will always be seen as risky surely have to have some space in our future.