CAREER DEVELOPMENT / AUG. 10, 2014
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How to Boost Risk Appetite for Creative Experimentation in Your Career

When individuals talk of improving their career performance, the first thing that comes to mind is innovation. And to be honest, many people have such brilliant innovative ideas, you would be surprised by their sheer underestimated magnitude of creativity. For instance, try suggesting a problem in the workplace and solutions will come flying over. Well, that shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the overwhelming competence levels in job markets today. But now the problem comes with having the necessary risk appetite for creative experimentation of such brilliant ideas. Which brings me to the question...

Why Do People Have a Limited Risk Appetite for Creative Experimentation?
With frequent economic shake-ups, many careerists today just want to maintain their jobs and get paid regularly without succumbing to any risky ideas. Moreover, though struggling businesses have big ideas in mind, it’s their limited life-supporting capital that makes them cringe when the risk of some creative experimentations is too much. These are just but some of the limited risk appetite scenarios brought about by common factors such as:

  • Fear of the unknown especially if the idea is totally new. For instance, with volatile market trends, the idea might simply be trashed by consumers altogether.
  • Limited resources as we mentioned earlier, with capital being the major challenge. Other secondary challenges include competent staff, licensed capacity, solid market influence and other necessary apparatus.
  • The fondness of sticking to familiar ground. This is understandably true especially for those that are consistently dominant and secure in their respective niches.
  • Sudden experimentation upheavals which might come as a result of unexpected challenges and set-backs such as financial bottlenecks, economic slumps and so forth.
  • The Inconvenience of creative experimentation with no tangible returns to show for all the resource dedication and hard work.

When we consider the challenges above, it then dawns on us that they’re very reasonable, realistic and true. I mean, who are we to judge people trying to make a living without causing any unnecessary trouble? No one likes trouble. But still, they need to be convinced that creative experimentation isn’t necessarily a contract of guaranteed failure. And so we should ask...

How then does one Boost Risk Appetite for Creative Experimentation in their Respective Careers?
I want us to focus on a career circle that involves risk itself and that’s nothing else but insurance. You see, despite the fact that insurance companies constantly deal with risks, their risk appetite for creative experimentation is constantly healthy and proactive even in tough economic times. For instance, they always come up with new custom made insurance packages despite the high risk experienced in some volatile markets today. And so, in light of insurance companies, we should keep our risk appetite on an upward momentum through measures such as:

#1 Taking Carefully Calculated Risks that Are Harmonized with Concrete Challenges
As we saw earlier, in a bid to mitigate potential risk, there are concrete challenges that compel a business to avoid creative experimentation altogether. However, these challenges can be used to your risk appetite advantage since they show that you’re aware of the pros and cons of taking certain creative risks. And thus, such challenges can then be used as parameters around which carefully calculated steps can be implemented without the unnecessary fear that results from ignorance.

#2 Being Disciplined and Diligent in Phase Execution
An innovation is like a hot cake and it should remain that way. However, indiscipline in timely phase execution can lead to an idea becoming obsolete. Remember, some ideas are subject to business cycles and thus maximum returns will only be realised if the idea is actualised at a certain season. Consequently, due diligence and discipline should always be applied in phase execution of the creative experimentation. Consequently, regular implementation not only enhances competence, but it also increases risk appetite for bigger ideas.

#3 Having a Range of Contingency Measures to deal with Unexpected Upheavals
In an imperfect world, errors are bound to happen. Costs may suddenly shoot up, sponsors may abruptly exit or even the innovation itself might collapse altogether. Such erroneous occurrences will require for you to be adequately prepared with respective contingency measures that should be conveniently available and easily accessible when urgently needed.

#4 Taking Advantage of Free Incentives to the Maximum
Many governments worldwide are always coming up with incentives to help budding start-ups and entrepreneurial ventures create more jobs for the youth. Moreover, companies that show exceptional performance tend to get incentives such as tax breaks, government bailouts, grants, sponsorships and other financial incentives. It all boils down to whether you’re aware of such incentives in your respective economy.

It’s said that the best ideas in the world today are buried in the graves. But as long as we’re alive, it doesn’t have to go that far. With a healthy risk appetite, creative idea experimentation can become a consistent event in your career streak. Even some of us have personal ideas that seem to really scare the hell out of us considering the lengths we would have to go to realise them. But as Tracee Ellis Ross once said, " I am learning everyday to allow the space between where I am and where I want to be to inspire me and not terrify me."

Sourced Image: Risk Takers

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