Stepping into the unknown of the world as it is going to be, and leaving behind the apparent safety of the world as it used to be, can seem risky. But when so much of the world around us is changing so fast, the need to change becomes inevitable.
How can we understand which risks are real, which are not, which risks to take, and which to avoid?
In 1987, Susan Jeffers told us to “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway.” This is good advice but it doesn’t necessarily help us manage risk.
Seth Godin sees risk as being about an attitude that we can choose:
- Do we see the future as risky and frightening? Was yesterday was a lot better than today?
- Or is tomorrow likely to be better? Is the future an exciting opportunity?
Again, over-optimism might not serve us well.
The bottom line, as Peter Drucker pointed out, is that people who take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year. And people who don’t take risks make about the same.
In a time of churning, when everything is changing, it is the people who don’t change, who try to stick with the way the world used to be, who are actually taking the bigger risk.
So The Churning’s approach is to see risk as something that is partly emotional and partly rational and to provide tools for managing both:
- To know, first of all, which direction is the most important for us to travel in, and therefore which risks are worth taking
- To create a vision of the future we want to create that inspires us and other people to want to make it happen: enthusiasm brings energy that makes this future more likely to happen
- And then to manage our implementation in a way that is robust and agile, adaptable to events
In a churning world we cannot avoid risk. But we can choose the risks worth taking and maximise our chances of getting the results we want.