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If you want to get ahead, don’t be afraid to get dirty
January 29, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | ROY OSING - SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL
PUBLISHED 6 HOURS.

* ACT FAST. When you are confronted with a formidable challenge, make a decision quickly; overanalyzing doesn’t usually lead to success because it squanders your most precious asset – time.Success demands that you act fast and not waste valuable resources by over-complicating the route to a decision.
* HAVE A ‘WHAT IF’ PLAN
Have a contingency plan for when your chosen course of action doesn’t work out the way you intended.
* DON’T CHASE PERFECTION
Embrace imperfection; there is no such thing as a perfect anything.
* FIND DOERS. Find people who have a proven track record of doing things fast.
* PLAY IT UNSAFE. Work outside your comfort zone.
* SHUN THE RULES. Rules exist to make us compliant and fall in with what others do; they are a set of standards imposed by others....Bottom line: Broken rules are the cost of doing messy business.
* FORGET YOUR JOB DESCRIPTION. Job descriptions compartmentalize the activity of an organization; they specify the role we must play and the results we are expected to deliver.
* STAY FOCUSED. Try many things in rapid succession but avoid multitasking. ....Success doesn’t come from juggling several balls. It comes when we are focused on a single outcome and dedicate our heart and soul to seeing it through.
* SCREW UP. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
contingency_planning  focus  good_enough  messiness  mistakes  monotasking  risk-taking  speed  Roy_Osing  personal_accomplishments  Plan_B  doers 
january 2019 by jerryking
Walmart tells investors to expect more risk-taking
October 16, 2018 | Financial Times | Alistair Gray and Pan Kwan Yuk in New York.

Doug McMillon said at an investor meeting on Tuesday that the Arkansas-based company was experimenting with technology ranging from floor-cleaning robots to augmented reality and biometrics as he urged Wall Street to “challenge your thinking about Walmart”.

Walmart superstores have transformed shopping habits and became a dominant force in American retail. The bricks-and-mortar model, however, has been upended in by the rise of ecommerce.

“Looking back, we had a proven model, and we naturally focused on execution. As the numbers grew, we . . . unintentionally became risk averse,” Mr McMillon said at a meeting for investors.

“But today we’re getting to reimagine retail and our business. To do that we take risk — try quite a few things and learn from our failures. That type of behaviour’s in our DNA, and we’re waking up that part of our culture.”.....Online sales, in which Walmart has been investing aggressively as part of its response to Amazon, are expected to increase around 35 per cent for the fiscal 2020 year, compared to the expected 40 per cent for 2019.

Walmart also on Tuesday struck a partnership with Advance Auto Parts, allowing it increase its presence in the car parts business. Under the tie-up the companies will offer home delivery, same-day pick up at each other’s stores and installation of some parts.
Amazon  e-commerce  experimentation  failure  innovation  retailers  risk-taking  Wall_Street  Wal-Mart  augmented_reality  auto_parts  biometrics  bricks-and-mortar  home-delivery  same-day  shopping_habits 
october 2018 by jerryking
Mall Landlords Roll the Dice With Tech Investments - WSJ
By Esther Fung
Updated June 20, 2017

Mall landlords are investing millions of dollars in technology to help protect them from the changes buffeting the retail sector as internet shopping gains a stronger foothold.

Some of the investments aren’t faring so well.

Macerich Co., one of the biggest U.S. mall owners, last quarter wrote off $10 million invested in a startup that purported to help online and European retailers expand their physical store presence in the U.S......landlords face growing pressure to remain relevant, and are investing more resources to understand the industry’s disrupters. Larger landlords with stronger balance sheets, such as Simon Property Group and Westfield Corp. , have been setting aside millions of dollars for incubators to take on risks similar to venture capitalists......“The real-estate technology industry is heating up, bringing along with it quite a bit of noise,” said Hongwei Liu, CEO of MappedIn, a six-year-old Canada-based firm that provides indoor mapping and search software for property owners.

The firm has developed digital maps for more than 300 U.S. malls, including for the top mall REITs.
shopping_malls  landlords  technology  MappedIn  mapping  risk-taking  retailers  indoors 
june 2017 by jerryking
The Economy Needs Amazons, but It Mostly Has GEs
the country as a whole badly needs some rules-defying risk-taking. For business, that means a bit more Amazon in the boardroom and a bit less GE....The purchase of Whole Foods by Amazon introduced a level of volatility and turmoil (at least singularly to the retail sector) which had been absent from the market for a long time....The rest of the market remained placid. And months of historically low volatility has begun to look like dangerous complacency....... another, potentially more troubling explanation: stagnation. Muted markets may be an inevitable product of steady, sluggish growth, low and predictable interest rates, declining business startups and failures, and decreased competition. In other words, the problem is, there aren’t enough Amazons disrupting the stock market and the economy.....Jeffrey Bezos founded Amazon in 1994, he has prioritized expansion and innovation ahead of profit. In its early years, free cash flow—cash from operations minus CAPEX—hovered around zero. Mr. Bezos approaches new products like a VC. Many will flop (like the Fire smartphone), but some will be home runs (e.g. AWS). Amazon launched Prime, which offers free delivery in exchange for an annual fee, in 2005. John Blackledge, notes Amazon has repeatedly innovated in ways that make Prime even more valuable to subscribers.......Amazon is now profitable, yet cash retention remains secondary to building great products and delighting and retaining customers.

....If Amazon is one extreme in how companies invest, General ElectricCo. is the other. It has long been fastidious about capital and cash deployment......CEO Jack Welch perfected this approach in the 1990s.. it continued under Jeffrey Immelt. Last week, Mr. Immelt said he would retire, after 16 years struggling to restore growth. In part, that reflected how financial engineering had inflated profits under Mr. Welch. Yet Mr. Immelt ’s investment decisions too often chased the conventional wisdom on Wall Street and in Washington. ...........growth is hard for any company that dominates its markets as much as GE does. GE’s size also attracts debilitating political scrutiny. ....In response to new regulations and pressure from Wall Street, Mr. Immelt largely dismantled the business...........Investors still want GE to return cash to shareholders, and it has obliged,.....while good for shareholders in the short run, this is no recipe for growth in the long run. GE’s cash flow is shrinking despite the company’s focus on preserving it, while Amazon’s is growing despite that company’s readiness to spend it.......North American boardrooms desparately needs some rules-defying risk-taking. For business, that means a bit more Amazon in the boardroom and a bit less GE

[ See John Authers article which references Vix]

The "Minsky Moment" occurs when investors realize that they have paid far too much for the credits that have bought, no buyers can be found, and the system collapses. Aka Wile E. Coyote running-off-a-cliff....The greatest dangers to us are not from things we perceive to be high-risk, because we generally treat them carefully. Trouble arises from that which we perceive to be low-risk.
digital_economy  Amazon  GE  Amazon_Prime  risk-taking  volatility  Greg_Ip  stagnation  cash_flows  long-term  growth  start_ups  complacency  instability  conventional_wisdom  Jeffrey_Immelt  Jack_Welch  conglomerates  delighting_customers  capital_allocation  Jeff_Bezos  financial_engineering  rule_breaking 
june 2017 by jerryking
Wall Street to CEOs: Disrupt Your Industry, or Else
May 26, 2017 | WSJ | By Christopher Mims

Investors and boards are hunting for corporate leaders who can move quickly to fend off upstarts and place big bets on disruptive tech.......For pretty much any industry you can name—not just autos but manufacturing, logistics, finance, media and of course retail—there are tech startups purporting to have better ideas, ones they say they don’t need decades to make into realities. It isn’t as if all these industries will see massive CEO turnover, but it does mean established companies need to consider drastic measures. They must be willing to tell their stakeholders they may have to lose money and cannibalize existing products and services, while scaling up new technologies and methods.

“Ten years ago, innovation was based on features and functions,”. “Now it’s about your business model and transforming your industry.”

Before, companies could innovate by acquiring tech startups. But the top disrupters now grow so quickly and capture so much market share, they become too valuable to buy or are unwilling to sell.....Act faster to satisfy shareholders.....Mickey Drexler, CEO of beleaguered J. Crew, admitted that if he could go back 10 years, he might have done things differently, to cope with the rapid transformation of retail by e-commerce. Who then would have predicted that in 2017, the No. 1 online retailer of clothing to millennials would be Amazon?....CEO turnover isn’t necessarily the only solution on the table....Companies also have to incubate potentially disruptive startups within their own corporate structures. This means protecting them as they develop, and being willing to absorb their losses for as long as their competitors do. Consider, for example, that Amazon made almost no profit for its first 20 years..... Wal-Mart’s e-commerce division increased sales 29% from a year earlier. Many analysts thought the company overpaid for Jet.com, which cost it $3.3 billion in August 2016. But the acquisition brought e-commerce veteran Marc Lore, who became chief executive of Wal-Mart’s online operations and quickly replaced existing executives with members of his own team.
analog  business_models  CEOs  Christopher_Mims  disruption  e-commerce  leaders  LVMH  operational_tempo  risk-taking  transformational  turnover  Jet  Wal-Mart  Wall_Street 
may 2017 by jerryking
Life lessons: Looking back and taking stock - Western Alumni
Life lessons: Looking back and taking stock

by Paul Wells, BA'89

“Young people are educated in many ways,” he wrote, “but they are given relatively little help in understanding how a life develops, how careers and families evolve, what are the common mistakes and the common blessings of modern adulthood.”.....every few months when I sit down to write one of these columns, I do a little stock-taking. And a few times after a major screw-up or a minor triumph I’ve tried to do it in a more formal way. It’s true that just about every time I’ve bet everything on a new direction, it’s worked out better than if I’d stayed put. Once I bet everything and it worked out very badly. But even then, failure made a better life possible.

These are not lessons university teaches us well. Partly that’s because the young so rarely have any interest in learning them. I spent a lot more time at Western trying to figure out how to be successful than I did trying to figure out how to be happy. I figured 'happy' was in the gods’ hands, not mine. Almost everything that followed was accident.

To the extent we can learn how to live a good life, I think that so far, we learn it better from the arts and humanities than from science or even social science. Aristotle and Haydn have helped get me out of more fixes than cell biology did, although to be fair I was a lousy scientist. I’m quite sure it’ll never be possible to know, to three decimal places, how to live life well. Too many variables. But the question is still worth asking.

I’m with the Yale class of ’42. Change and risk have stood me in better stead than stasis and worry ever did. There may be a role for universities in teaching that much, at least.
advice  anti-résumé  chance  Colleges_&_Universities  David_Brooks  failure  happiness  lessons_learned  next_play  no_regrets  Paul_Wells  reflections  risk-taking  success 
february 2017 by jerryking
From Michael Lewis, a Portrait of the Men Who Shaped ‘Moneyball’ - The New York Times
By ALEXANDRA ALTERDEC. 3, 2016
Lewis decided to explore how it started.

The inquiry led him to the work of two Israeli psychologists, Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, whose discoveries challenged long-held beliefs about human nature and the way the mind works.

Mr. Lewis chronicles their unusual partnership in his new book, “The Undoing Project,” a story about two unconventional thinkers who saw the world differently from everyone around them. Their peculiar area of research — how humans make decisions, often irrationally — has had profound implications for an array of fields, like professional sports, the military, medicine, politics, finance and public health.....Tversky and Kahneman's research demonstrating how people behave in fundamentally irrational ways when making decisions, relying on their gut rather than available data, gave rise to the field of behavioral economics. That discipline attracted Paul DePodesta, a Harvard student, who later went into sports management and helped upend professional baseball when he went to work for Mr. Beane.....Unlike many nonfiction writers, Mr. Lewis declines to take advances, which he calls “corrupting,” even though he could easily earn seven figures. Instead, he splits the profits from the books, as well as the advertising and production costs, with Norton. The setup spurs him to work harder and to make more money if the books are successful, he says.

“You should have the risk and you should enjoy the reward,” he said. “It’s not healthy for an author not to have the risk.”
Amos_Tversky  Michael_Lewis  Moneyball  books  book_reviews  unconventional_thinking  biases  cognitive_skills  unknowns  information_gaps  humility  pretense_of_knowledge  overconfidence  conventional_wisdom  overestimation  metacognition  behavioural_economics  irrationality  decision_making  nonfiction  writers  self-awareness  self-analysis  self-reflective  proclivities  Daniel_Kahneman  psychologists  delusions  self-delusions  skin_in_the_game  gut_feelings  risk-taking  partnerships 
december 2016 by jerryking
A rigorous Canadian innovation policy needs to be able to evolve and pivot - The Globe and Mail
BILAL KHAN
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Apr. 15, 2016

++++++++++++++++++++++
But a big part of the problem is our knee-jerk reaction to expect governments to provide the solutions. Need corporate R&D? Ask Ottawa for more tax credits. Lacking venture capital? Insist tax dollars are put into a fund. Want more high tech? Demand provincial governments to spend more on university research.

Good public policies can certainly nudge us in the right direction, but it’s lazy to sit back and wait for government to solve the problem. The truth is that tax credits and research subsidies do not drive innovation. Curiosity drives innovation.

Maybe we’re asking the wrong question. Instead of “what policy can drive innovation?”, we need to ask “how can we become a society of inquisitive individuals?” That’s a more difficult question. It is too simplistic to call for more creativity in the classrooms, but surely strong literacy skills at an early age form the bedrock of curiosity and innovative thinking in adulthood. Children who are encouraged to read, to question, to wonder and to imagine will carry those abilities with them into adulthood.

++++++++++++++++++++++
innovation  innovation_policies  public_policy  agility  risk-taking  Todd_Hirsch  curiosity  organizational_culture  inquisitiveness  questions  bottom-up  hard_questions  asking_the_right_questions  tax_codes 
april 2016 by jerryking
From terrorism to technological disruption: Leaders need to tackle risk - The Globe and Mail
DAVID ISRAELSON
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016

“Not only do they have to think about and worry about economic changes and what their competitors are going to do, they now have a whole new level of political and regulatory risk,” Ms. Ecker says.

“You can’t predict in some cases how a policy maker is going to move. We’re seeing that in China now.”

At the beginning of 2016, as markets began a steep slide in China, that country’s regulators twice activated a “circuit breaker” mechanism to halt trading, only to abandon it after it appeared to make the drop in the market even worse.

The lesson is that sometimes “business practices and even business products that seem acceptable today, for whatever reason, when something happens can be considered things you shouldn’t be doing. There’s more policy unpredictability than ever before,” Ms. Ecker says.

“In an increasingly risky world, a CEO needs to be increasingly flexible and adaptable. You also need to have a team and know what the latest threat might be.”

That isn’t necessarily easy, she adds. “There’s no rule book. When I was in politics, people used to ask me what we should anticipate. I’d tell them, ‘Read science fiction books.’ ”....CEOs in today’s risky world also need people skills that may not have been necessary before, says Shaharris Beh, director of Hackernest, a Toronto-based not-for-profit group that connects worldwide tech companies.

“CEOs have always needed strong skills around rapid decision-making and failure mitigation. In today’s hypercompetitive startup business climate, leaders need two more: pivot-resilience and proleptic consensus leadership,” he says.

“Pivot-resilience is the ability to tolerate the stress of gut-wrenching risks when dramatically shifting strategy. In other words, be able to take the blame gracefully while still warranting respect among your team members.”

Proleptic consensus leadership is especially important for startups, Mr. Beh says. “It’s the ability to garner the team’s support for taking big risks by giving them the assurance of what backup plans are in place should things go sour.”

This consensus building “is how you keep support,” he adds. In a volatile economy, “people can jump ship at any time or even unintentionally sabotage things if they’re not convinced a particular course of action will work.” So you have to constantly persuade.
science_fiction  law_firms  law  risks  CEOs  risk-management  disruption  BLG  leaders  pivots  resilience  consensus  risk-taking  contingency_planning  unpredictability  political_risk  regulatory_risk  policymakers  flexibility  adaptability  anticipating  people_skills  circuit_breakers 
february 2016 by jerryking
The Choices That Led Small Business Owners to Wealth - The New York Times
FEB. 12, 2016 | NYT | By PAUL SULLIVAN

have to make decisions to professionalize the business, put systems in place and have a plan that allows them to do longer-term planning. Those decisions can make the difference between being a small-business owner and a business executive with significant wealth....“There is no bright-line test when a company gets to a certain size or age to do these things,” said Kevin M. Harris, head of the family business group at Northern Trust. “It is based on where the company wants to go.”

Determining which decisions were the ones that made the difference is sometimes not an easy task, and the stories that are retold are often the ones that turned out well. Yet it is worth considering what can go wrong.

Entrepreneurs who failed to find success were often resistant to change
small_business  wealth_creation  decision_making  entrepreneur  risk-taking  mindsets  JCK  thinking_tragically  Northern_Trust  owners  private_banking  choices  internal_systems  professionalization  high_net_worth 
february 2016 by jerryking
What’s Driving VC Firms to Take Bigger Risks - Digits - WSJ
Sep 3, 2015 STARTUPS
What’s Driving VC Firms to Take Bigger Risks
ARTICLE
COMMENTS
BILLION DOLLAR STARTUP CLUB
NEU VENTURE CAPITAL
STARTUPS
VALUATIONS
VENTURE CAPITAL
72 154
By ROLFE WINKLER
risk-taking  vc  venture_capital  valuations  start_ups 
september 2015 by jerryking
Women must take on risk to climb the career ladder - FT.com
September 6, 2015 2:13 pm
Women must take on risk to climb the career ladder
Emma De Vita

Many women rely on hard work alone to climb their company’s career ladder but they would be wrong to play it safe. Although studies show that there are no gender differences when it comes to an appetite for risk, women perceive certain risks to be greater in some areas, such as finance, than men. But being courageous and taking considered risks is the secret to enjoying a supercharged career.
women  movingonup  career_paths  risk-taking  hard_work  risk-assessment  risk-appetite  playing_it_safe 
september 2015 by jerryking
Granger addressed a matter of importance to all Guyanese - Stabroek News
By
Staff Writer
August 12, 2015

Pesident Granger’s position at the forum: “salaried employment is very seductive … You can spend out your whole salary because you know next month you will get another salary. If you are a farmer you need to save money for fertilizer, seed, equipment, if there is a drought or a flood you need savings to tide you over but if you are a policeman and there’s a flood you still get paid. Some people do not like to take risks but …unless you change the economy, unless we create people who are entrepreneurs, manufacturers, we will always be victims of people who make decisions for us.”
Afro-Guyanese  cultural_values  David_Granger  economic_development  Guyana  Guyanese  entrepreneurship  Indo-Guyanese  manufacturers  psyche_of_dependency  risk-taking 
august 2015 by jerryking
In business and government, think differently - The Globe and Mail
MICHAEL SABIA
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Saturday, May. 16 2015

here’s the paradox. At a time when creativity is relentlessly driving change in so much of our world, many would limit governments to managing their way through, rather than working with others to solve problems.

It started in the 1980s and ’90s, when we decided governments needed to become “more like businesses,” adopting the metrics – and vocabulary – of corporations. Citizens became “clients.” Compliance replaced creativity.

The job of government was defined in terms of its “efficiency,” and the emphasis was placed on the minimal “must do” instead of the aspirational “can be.”

Of course, governments have to demonstrate good stewardship of public resources. But if all they do is count change, it limits their ability to effect change. The fact is when big problems arise – whether it’s a financial crisis like 2008 or a tragedy like Lac-Mégantic – people’s first instinct is to look to government for a solution.

Yet opinion researchers tell us that people are increasingly disappointed with our collective response to the issues that matter most: income inequality, health care for the elderly, climate change and so on....It’s about different government. This is about government moving away from a manager’s obsession with doing things better to a leader’s focus on doing better things. Think of fostering innovation, being open to new ideas, encouraging experimentation, rewarding risk-taking. And, frankly, accepting failure as a condition precedent to success.
Michael_Sabia  CDPQ  thinking  CEOs  innovation  leadership  experimentation  risk-taking  failure  trial_&_error  government  public_sector  open_source  disappointment  business  stewardship  compliance  replaced  creativity  efficiencies  effectiveness  think_differently 
may 2015 by jerryking
Five things the TD Centre can teach us about how to build Toronto - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 01 2015,

The TD towers were a radical departure both in scale and in style. The tallest of the original two soared to 56 floors, dominating the skyline like nothing before or since. Rising from its six-acre site at King and Bay, it was everything the old buildings around it were not. While they featured arched windows and gargoyles, Greek columns and bronze roofs, the design of the TD Centre was all austerity and simplicity.

It is just this sort of future that the creators of the TD Centre had in mind when they hired one of the era’s most renowned architects to build them something outstanding. The architect was Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969), the Chicago-based German émigré who liked to say that “less is more.” He referred to his works as “skin-and-bones” architecture, and his unadorned steel-and-glass boxes were meant to reflect the spirit of a modern technological era.

It took ambition and foresight to pull off something as bold as the TD Centre. It meant thinking about what the city would become instead of just coping with what it was. Those qualities sometimes seem lacking in today’s Toronto. There are still things we can learn from those dark towers.

First, don’t be afraid of tall buildings.
Second, investing in quality pays.
Third, maintain what you have.
Fourth, pay attention to details.
Finally, always think about the future. Toronto, and Canada, were in a risk-taking frame of mind when the first tower took shape. Expo 67, the wildly successful world’s fair, was under way in Montreal. The striking new Toronto City Hall by Finnish architect Viljo Revell had opened two years earlier.
'60s  ambitions  architecture  boldness  foresight  history  lessons_learned  Marcus_Gee  skyscrapers  Bay_Street  TD_Bank  Toronto  design  forward_looking  PATH  detail_oriented  minimalism  quality  Expo_67  risk-taking  mindsets  pay_attention 
may 2015 by jerryking
Ari Emanuel's WME-IMG Merger: The Possible Financial Troubles
March 2015 | | Vanity Fair | BY WILLIAM D. COHAN.

“Take advantage of each day that's given to you, and do something to move the needle on your business, even if it's just an inch. You've heard it before, but life is not a dress rehearsal. Don't waste your time (or mine).”....In 2009, Emanuel decided to take another big risk. “Nobody fucks up like I do,” he once wrote, “but you'll never succeed unless you take big risks. Big ones.”......“There's nobody more important when it comes to television packaging than Ari and Rick Rosen [WME's television chief],” says entertainment mogul David Geffen. “There's nobody who does it better. For instance, Steven Spielberg was at CAA for decades, and they did nothing for him in television, and he goes with Ari, and he has had seven or eight shows on the air. That's about accomplishment, not about bullshit.”........Over the next decade Forstmann transformed IMG into an international production-and-packaging powerhouse. The expanding business cut profitable deals with more than 200 American college and university sports teams, as well as with Indian Premier League cricket, Wimbledon, the Australian and U.S. Open tennis tournaments, tennis tournaments in Spain and Malaysia, and Barclays Premier League soccer. It ran Fashion Week in New York, Milan, and London, and in China it formed an exclusive joint venture with the national television network to create sports programming—all this in addition to representing such sports stars as Novak Djokovic, Maria Sharapova, and Venus Williams. It also signed up an array of fashion designers and models, including Michael Kors, Diane von Furstenberg, Gisele Bündchen, and Kate Moss.
Ari_Emanuel  mybestlife  talent_management  mergers_&_acquisitions  entertainment_industry  chutzpah  Hollywood  overachievers  Ted_Forstmann  talent_representation  dealmakers  packaging  Silver_Lake  affirmations  idea_generation  creating_valuable_content  hard_work  performance  strivers  sports  fashion  superstars  risk-taking  William_Cohan  James_Baldwin  personal_accomplishments 
march 2015 by jerryking
Bret Stephens: The Marvel of American Resilience - WSJ
By BRET STEPHENS
Dec. 22, 2014

Innovation depends less on developing specific ideas than it does on creating broad spaces. Autocracies can always cultivate their chess champions, piano prodigies and nuclear engineers; they can always mobilize their top 1% to accomplish some task. The autocrats’ quandary is what to do with the remaining 99%. They have no real answer, other than to administer, dictate and repress.

A free society that is willing to place millions of small bets on persons unknown and things unseen doesn’t have this problem. Flexibility, not hardness, is its true test of strength. Success is a result of experiment not design. Failure is tolerable to the extent that adaptation is possible.
resilience  Bret_Stephens  hydraulic_fracturing  flexibility  experimentation  failure  adaptability  autocracies  strengths  innovation  risk-taking  Cambrian_explosion 
december 2014 by jerryking
Peter Thiel on Why Big Companies Don’t Think Like Startups - WSJ - WSJ
November 3, 2014 | WSJ | Interview of Peter Thiel by Mr. Dennis K. Berman.

Changing the World
MR. BERMAN: The term you use in your book is that a startup is an excuse to change the world. How do people inside big companies take that idea and make something of it? MR. THIEL: There are a number of larger companies that are still innovating fairly aggressively. I’m very biased, as an investor, to be pro-companies that are still led by the founders. The founders are often able to make more choices and take more risk and have more inspiration than more politically minded CEOs. The old founders don’t always live forever, that’s true. You need a figure that’s as close to a founder as possible.

In theory, large companies could do far more than small companies. They have more capital. They have longer time horizons. They can take more risks. I tend to think it’s always that the internal politics somehow get in the way.
bubbles  founders  internal_politics  large_companies  office_politics  Peter_Thiel  risk-taking  Silicon_Valley  start_ups  time_horizons  valuations  vc  venture_capital 
november 2014 by jerryking
Is admission to an elite university the be-all and end-all? - The Globe and Mail
SIMONA CHIOSE
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Oct. 03 2014

William Deresiewicz, the author of Excellent Sheep, argues that, rather than rejoice at being admitted to such institutions, this elite-in-training should run the other way. In tours to capacity lecture halls, the former Yale literature professor tells students to stop mistaking ambition for direction; and to embrace the liberal arts, self-reflection and risk. Otherwise, the anxiety and unhappiness those students feel now, after a childhood and adolescence stage-managed by their parents, will flower into midlife crises and the realization of an existence neither examined nor fulfilled.

But Dr. Deresiewicz is not a counsellor. He’s a combative writer, a regular at The New Republic. The race to the top, he argues, is not just a waste of the best minds of a generation (the Ys and Zs), who are going into economics with only the smallest detours into Plato, Virginia Woolf or George Eliot; it has turned education from the great equalizer to a sharp cleaver, lacerating democracy (jk: fault lines).
admissions  anxiety  Colleges_&_Universities  education  elitism  fault_lines  Ivy_League  liberal_arts  risk-taking  self-reflection  social_exclusion  unhappiness 
october 2014 by jerryking
Lunch with the FT: Sir John Sawers - FT.com
September 19, 2014| FT |By Lionel Barber.

The spy chief chuckles. “I would not have taken this job if I weren’t prepared to deal in risk, personal and professional. MI6 is in the risk business.”....In future, he says, he wants MI6 to be more agile in response to threats but not at the expense of abandoning the military in theatre. The lesson of the past decade – when billions have been spent in Afghanistan and Iraq – is that a government can be toppled in months but it takes years to rebuild the country. Then again, “if you decide not to [rebuild], as we did in Libya, partly because of the scars from Iraq, then you topple the government and you end up having nothing in its place. And if you don’t intervene at all, you end up with a situation like you have in Syria. These are real dilemmas.”
Spies, he continues, are “normal human beings, public servants doing the best possible job we can for our country.”
agility  security_&_intelligence  Edward_Snowden  United_Kingdom  spymasters  MI6  nimbleness  personal_risk  risk-taking 
september 2014 by jerryking
The Biology of Risk - NYTimes.com
By JOHN COATES JUNE 7, 2014

What is it about risk taking that so eludes our understanding, and our control?

Part of the problem is that we tend to view financial risk taking as a purely intellectual activity. But this view is incomplete. Risk is more than an intellectual puzzle — it is a profoundly physical experience, and it involves your body...Risk by its very nature threatens to hurt you, so when confronted by it your body and brain, under the influence of the stress response, unite as a single functioning unit....The state of your body predicts your appetite for financial risk just as it predicts an athlete’s performance.

If we understand how a person’s body influences risk taking, we can learn how to better manage risk takers. We can also recognize that mistakes governments have made have contributed to excessive risk taking.

Consider the most important risk manager of them all — the Federal Reserve. ...Uncertainty over the timing of something unpleasant often causes a greater challenge response than the unpleasant thing itself. Sometimes it is more stressful not knowing when or if you are going to be fired than actually being fired. Why? Because the challenge response, like any good defense mechanism, anticipates; it is a metabolic preparation for the unknown....Most models in economics and finance assume that risk preferences are a stable trait, much like your height. But this assumption, as our studies suggest, is misleading. Humans are designed with shifting risk preferences. They are an integral part of our response to stress, or challenge....One such opportunity is a brief spike in market volatility, for this presents a chance to make money. But if volatility rises for a long period, the prolonged uncertainty leads us to subconsciously conclude that we no longer understand what is happening and then cortisol scales back our risk taking. In this way our risk taking calibrates to the amount of uncertainty and threat in the environment.

Continue reading the main story
Under conditions of extreme volatility, such as a crisis, traders, investors and indeed whole companies can freeze up in risk aversion, and this helps push a bear market into a crash. Unfortunately, this risk aversion occurs at just the wrong time, for these crises are precisely when markets offer the most attractive opportunities, and when the economy most needs people to take risks. The real challenge for Wall Street, I now believe, is not so much fear and greed as it is these silent and large shifts in risk appetite....As uncertainty in fed funds declined, one of the most powerful brakes on excessive risk taking in stocks was released....There are times when the Fed does need to calm the markets. After the credit crisis, it did just that. But when the economy and market are strong, as they were during the dot-com and housing bubbles, what, pray tell, is the point of calming the markets? Of raising rates in a predictable fashion? If you think the markets are complacent, then unnerve them. Over the past 20 years the Fed may have perfected the art of reassuring the markets, but it has lost the power to scare. And that means stock markets more easily overshoot, and then collapse.

CONTINUE READING THE MAIN STORY
120
COMMENTS
The Fed could dampen this cycle. It has, in interest rate policy, not one tool but two: the level of rates and the uncertainty of rates. Given the sensitivity of risk preferences to uncertainty, the Fed could use policy uncertainty and a higher volatility of funds to selectively target risk taking in the financial community....IT may seem counterintuitive to use uncertainty to quell volatility. But a small amount of uncertainty surrounding short-term interest rates may act much like a vaccine immunizing the stock market against bubbles. More generally, if we view humans as embodied brains instead of disembodied minds, we can see that the risk-taking pathologies found in traders also lead chief executives, trial lawyers, oil executives and others to swing from excessive and ill-conceived risks to petrified risk aversion. It will also teach us to manage these risk takers, much as sport physiologists manage athletes, to stabilize their risk taking and to lower stress.
Wall_Street  risks  risk-management  risk-taking  uncertainty  U.S._Federal_Reserve  bubbles  volatility  behavioural_economics  risk-preferences  risk-aversion  biology  psychology  interest_rates  emotions  human_experience  human_behavior  human_frailties  human_psyche  financial_risk  signaling  stress_response  market_crash  immobilize  paralyze  bear_markets  policy_tools  physiological_response  risk-appetite  unpredictability  physical_experiences  calibration 
june 2014 by jerryking
Is Stanford Too Close to Silicon Valley? :
APRIL 30, 2012 | The New Yorker | BY KEN AULETTA.

"Kathleen Chaykowski, a junior, was a premed and an engineering major who switched to English, and last year was the editor-in-chief of the Stanford Daily. She spoke about the risk-taking that is integral to Silicon Valley. “My academic adviser said, ‘I want you to have a messy career at Stanford. I want to see you try things, to discover the parts of yourself that you didn’t know existed.’ ”"
education  experimentation  Stanford  Silicon_Valley  academia  innovation  intellectual_exploration  technology  messiness  risk-taking  self-discovery 
may 2014 by jerryking
Old like me. Why elderly care needs more risk - The Globe and Mail
Saskia Sivananthan

Contributed to The Globe and Mail

Published Sunday, Mar. 23 2014

We must rethink our approach to managing risk in nursing homes, especially when doing so means limiting residents’ freedom to choose their own way.

It’s a poignant reminder of the daily challenges staff and residents at every nursing home face. They are also part of a theme that played into almost every aspect of my stay: How do you balance safety with autonomy for residents?

Safety is clearly important; often people move to nursing homes precisely because they can no longer manage living without 24-hour care. At the same time, this tightrope balance invokes the fear paramount in most people’s mind when they think about institutional living – losing their autonomy, not choking on breakfast.

The regulations for long-term care in most provinces prioritize medical needs and safety over autonomy. Public reporting of quality indicators at long-term care homes include safety as one of five attributes of a high-performing system – but autonomy is not considered.....we take these calculated risks every day: slicing bread, crossing the street, staying up late. Suddenly being regarded as unable to make decisions you’ve made all your life contributes to a feeling of disempowerment. In our attempt to remove all risk in nursing homes we have ended up with regulations that are so extreme that residents may no longer have autonomy or feel at home....Many of the new models of long-term care homes coming out of Europe have embraced this concept of calculated risk. There is a much lauded dementia village Hogeweyk in the Netherlands.....Denmark also focuses on autonomy. Nursing homes there are truly run as ‘homes’ rather than institutions, with the result that residents become family. One facility of 23 residents, 70 per cent of whom have dementia, takes Caribbean vacations together. Imagine the risk.

We must rethink our approach to managing risk in nursing homes, especially when doing so means limiting residents’ freedom to choose their own way.

One writer described a nursing home in Denmark as a place where “…old people could drink, laugh and love themselves into death.” When I have to go back to a nursing home, that’s where I want to go.
aging  elderly  free_will  freedom  nursing_homes  safety  autonomy  tradeoffs  disempowerment  risks  risk-taking  counterintuitive 
march 2014 by jerryking
Wall Street Avoiding Risk? Ha! Bets Are Getting Bigger
March 12, 2003 | of The Wall Street Journal | By Gregory Zuckerman.

With stocks crumbling this past fall, John Mack, the chief executive officer of Credit Suisse First Boston, met with senior executives of the firm in New York. He surprised them with a suggestion for how to deal with the difficult markets.

"Let's make some bets," he told the executives, according to people at the meeting. "Let's be smart" with the firm's capital, he urged them, but don't be afraid to take some reasonable risks.

When the message circulated within the securities firm, it startled some people, because Credit Suisse Group's CSFB had been sharply cutting back its exposure to trading risks. But now, like most other houses on Wall Street, CSFB is slowly getting back into the business of trading for profit, boosting its exposure at a time when the rest of its businesses are down....For years, Wall Street firms worked to increase less-volatile businesses that don't eat up capital and can provide steady earnings, such as asset management and mergers and acquisitions. But most of those businesses are in a deep slump, while traders betting on "macro" global-economic trends have enjoyed hefty gains thanks to tumbling rates and a falling dollar.

Analysts say that while proprietary trading may be working for now, they question how long the gains can continue. "A lot of the trading models look invincible" for a period of time, but it doesn't always last,
Wall_Street  risk-taking  risks  CSFB  proprietary-trading  traders  big_bets 
december 2013 by jerryking
Economist Edmund Phelps on restoring the spirit of adventure
Oct. 04 2013 | The Globe and Mail | by BRIAN MILNER.

Mass Flourishing: How Grassroots Innovation Created Jobs, Challenge and Change,

Columbia University economist Edmund Phelps made some waves at a conference in Beijing last month that included three fellow Nobel Prize winners. His blunt message: Too many young Chinese are intent on pursuing government jobs that are a waste of their talents and education. What is being lost in this “public servant frenzy” to obtain secure but unrewarding work is the eagerness to embrace risks, strike out in new directions and spark the widespread innovation needed to develop a thriving modern economy.
economists  innovation  books  China  risk-taking  Nobel_Prizes 
october 2013 by jerryking
Our Society Discourages Innovation - Room for Debate - NYTimes.com
Cecilia Conrad is the vice president for the MacArthur Fellows program at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Updated September 16, 2013
risk-taking  innovation 
september 2013 by jerryking
African Guyanese would require an empowering familial-ethnic environment and an enabling political-economic one to be successful in business
August 21, 2013 | Stabroek News | F. Hamley Casep.

Few African Guyanese grow up in an environment in which table conversation is centred around business matters or matters to do with the production and supply of goods and services. Sadly, African Guyanese may be more inclined to discuss the day’s purchases rather than the day’s sales, for the simple reason that African Guyanese economic activity tends more towards consumption rather than production or supply. Generally speaking, African Guyanese do not see themselves as having the means to produce ‒ land, labour or capital ‒ at their disposal, yet see these as prerequisites for venturing into business for themselves. The problem is compounded by the near absence of ethnic role models. In this sense I feel the problem is one of environment as much as education. In fact the two go hand in hand.

Though as Carl Greenidge says, “The education system should be teaching students about the value of business and what is required to be an entrepreneur” and has failed to do so, the system on its own cannot teach people to be risk takers. It is only the immediate environment that can build the level of self-confidence required to make the difference. There is no substitute for growing up in the environment of a family which is not dysfunctional where Uncle Peter is a car dealer, Aunt Sharon owns a supermarket and Cousin Kimberly owns a successful restaurant. These close-to-home realities have a far greater impact on a young person’s realization that they too can become a successful business person.
Afro-Guyanese  cultural_values  letters_to_the_editor  economic_development  entrepreneurship  generational_wealth  consumption  role_models  entrepreneur  risk-taking  factors_of_production  family 
august 2013 by jerryking
Angel money and sustainable business
04/10/2003 | In Business | William Wetzel and Jeffrey Sohl.

Believe it not, angels do exist. The term was born on Broadway to describe individuals who put up the high risk, early stage seed money to launch Broadway productions. At the Center for Venture Research based at the University of New Hampshire, the term applies to individual investors who back emerging entrepreneurial ventures. Angels are the most likely investors for early stage, high risk companies that need relatively small amounts of capital to get started.
angels  Broadway  theatre  investors  early-stage  risks  risk-taking 
june 2013 by jerryking
Memo to Staff: Take More Risks - WSJ.com
March 20, 2013| WSJ| By LESLIE KWOH
Memo to Staff: Take More Risks
CEOs Urge Employees to Embrace Failure and Keep Trying

Growth and innovation come from daring ideas and calculated gambles, but boldness is getting harder to come by at some companies. After years of high unemployment and scarred from rounds of company cost-cutting and layoffs, managers say their workers seem to have become allergic to risk.

Companies large and small are trying to coax staff into taking more chances in hopes that they'll generate ideas and breakthroughs that lead to new business. Some, like Extended Stay, are giving workers permission to make mistakes while others are playing down talk of profits or proclaiming the virtues of failure.
risks  risk-taking  daring  growth  innovation  new_businesses  failure  individual_initiative  idea_generation  large_companies  start_ups  boldness 
march 2013 by jerryking
Five traits of smart risk takers
March 13, 2013 | G&M | Harvey Schachter.

Review of Taking Smart Risks by Doug Sundheim. Sundheim lists five common dangers of playing it safe for too long:

• You don’t win.
• You don’t grow.
• You don’t create.
• You lose confidence as you lose momentum and start to freeze up.
• You don’t feel alive, because you aren't challenging yourself.
Harvey_Schachter  risks  risk-taking  books  book_reviews  soul-enriching  personality_types/traits  growth  cost_of_inaction  character_traits  complacency  risk-aversion  risk-avoidance  playing_it_safe 
march 2013 by jerryking
'Fraidy cats
February 22, 2013
Gary Salewicz

Without putting too fine a point on it, both men - one a successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur, the other a head of the wireless upstart Wind Mobile - bemoan Canada as a land of wimps: For Lee, it's revealed in the fact that few Canadian software engineers are willing to take a flyer on their careers and create start-ups; for Lacavera, it's about the shortage of Canadians willing to finance start-ups. This, of course, is reducing their arguments to simplistic terms, but you get the point.

Tyler Brûlé - founder of Wallpaper and Monocle magazines - whose mug also appears in the magazine (page 9), struck a similar note in a recent chat he had with students at the Ontario College of Art and Design. After he decamped Toronto for London with little more than a degree and an outsized ego, Brûlé built a media mini-empire; the lesson for students, embrace risk.

We're not all a bunch of 'fraidy cats sitting on our hands.
start_ups  entrepreneurship  risks  Tyler_Brûlé  risk-taking  risk-aversion  Anthony_Lacavera  playing_it_safe  Canada  Canadian  software_developers 
february 2013 by jerryking
It’s the P.Q. and C.Q. as Much as the I.Q. - NYTimes.com
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: January 29, 2013

If America is to sustain the kind of public institutions and safety nets that we’re used to, it will require a lot more growth by the private side (not just more taxes), a lot more entrepreneurship, a lot more start-ups and a lot more individual risk-taking — things the president rarely speaks about....Facebook, Twitter, cloud computing, LinkedIn, 4G wireless, ultra-high-speed bandwidth, big data, Skype, system-on-a-chip (SOC) circuits, iPhones, iPods, iPads and cellphone apps, in combination, have taken us from connected to hyperconnected.... the old average is over. Everyone who wants a job now must demonstrate how they can add value better than the new alternatives....Indeed, when the digital revolution gets so cheap, fast, connected and ubiquitous you see this in three ways, Brynjolfsson added: those with more education start to earn much more than those without it, those with the capital to buy and operate machines earn much more than those who can just offer their labor, and those with superstar skills, who can reach global markets, earn much more than those with just slightly less talent....How to adapt? It will require more individual initiative...more of the “right” education than less...develop skills that are complementary to technology rather than ones that can be easily replaced by it... everyone needs to be innovating new products and services to employ the people who are being liberated from routine work by automation and software. The winners won’t just be those with more I.Q. It will also be those with more P.Q. (passion quotient) and C.Q. (curiosity quotient) to leverage all the new digital tools to not just find a job, but to invent one or reinvent one, and to not just learn but to relearn for a lifetime.
career_paths  entrepreneurship  innovation  network_density  risk-taking  Tom_Friedman  Erik_Brynjolfsson  Andrew_McAfee  MIT  curiosity  passions  semiconductors  automation  software  new_products  life_long_learning  Pablo_Picasso  individual_initiative  safety_nets  intrinsically_motivated  winner-take-all  Cambrian_explosion  superstars  cheap  fast  ubiquity  digital_revolution 
january 2013 by jerryking
Rakesh Jhunjhunwala: “I am a risk-taker” - The Globe and Mail
Rakesh Jhunjhunwala: “I am a risk-taker”

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Jan. 24 2013
high_net_worth  moguls  India  entrepreneur  Africa  risk-taking  Indians 
january 2013 by jerryking
Risk? Bring it on, Canadian miners say - The Globe and Mail
DOUGLAS MASON

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Nov. 22 2012

There are few business sectors where Canada can claim global dominance, but as a centre for mining development, it is an industry leader....No other place has the same concentration and depth of services and financial market sophistication to support mining finance and development.

How does Canada do this? According to Kevan Cowan, president of TSX Markets, Canadians have a long history of participating in early-stage mining investments and a “whole ecosystem” has developed to support the industry.

“We have a tremendous network of industry players. Our legal services are the best expertise in this sector worldwide, together with a huge pool of geologists, engineers and mining entrepreneurs, as well as sophisticated capital markets for mining finance. We are a world ahead of our competitors.”
Canada  Canadian  mining  risk-taking  TSX  entrepreneurship  DRC  Banro  early-stage  ecosystems  capital_markets  geology  engineering  legal  TMX  epicenters  hyper-concentrations 
december 2012 by jerryking
The Conservative Mind - NYTimes.com
by DAVID BROOKS
September 24, 2012

In the mid-1980s, the conservative movement had two branches: (a)
economic conservatives who spent a lot of time worrying about the way government intrudes upon economic liberty. They upheld freedom as their highest political value. They admired risk-takers. They worried that excessive government would create a sclerotic nation with a dependent populace. And (b), traditional conservatives, intellectual heirs to Edmund Burke, Russell Kirk, Clinton Rossiter and Catholic social teaching who didn’t see society as a battleground between government and the private sector. Instead, the traditionalist wanted to preserve a society that functioned as a harmonious ecosystem, in which the different layers were nestled upon each other: individual, family, company, neighborhood, religion, city government and national government.

Recently the blogger Rod Dreher linked to Kirk’s essay, “Ten Conservative Principles,” which gives the flavor of this brand of traditional conservatism. This kind of conservative cherishes custom, believing that the individual is foolish but the species is wise. It is usually best to be guided by precedent.

This conservative believes in prudence on the grounds that society is complicated and it’s generally best to reform it steadily but cautiously. Providence moves slowly but the devil hurries.

The two conservative tendencies lived in tension. But together they embodied a truth that was put into words by the child psychologist John Bowlby, that life is best organized as a series of daring ventures from a secure base.

The economic conservatives were in charge of the daring ventures that produced economic growth. The traditionalists were in charge of establishing the secure base — a society in which families are intact, self-discipline is the rule, children are secure and government provides a subtle hand.
David_Brooks  conservatism  growth  self-discipline  '80s  risk-taking  Edmund_Burke 
september 2012 by jerryking
Seth's Blog: Changing the game
Posted by Seth Godin on November 01, 2007

Google announced an open interchange that allows users to take their social graph with them from one site to another. MySpace just joined in. This changes the rules for FaceBook, because now users have a choice of picking from dozens, soon to be hundreds of open sites... or just one closed one.

How can you change your game?

Consider the plight of Mike Huckabee and John Edwards. Both are making strong runs for the nominations of their parties, but both suffer because they're not seen as front runners. So why not change the game? Instead of waiting for a TV network to invite them to a debate, why not make your own TV show? Debate each other, in public, in Iowa. Broadcast the whole thing on YouTube. When you're done, challenge others in the opposite party to debate you, one on one. On your channel. What are they, chicken?

Consider the sandwich/burger shop/deli on a street crowded with choices. What to do? Why not get rid of all the meat and become a vegetarian/kosher sandwich/burger shop/deli? Now, it's five competitors and you. Anyone with a friend who eats carefully will bring her to your shop, the one and only one of its kind.

Usually, when you destroy the barriers in an existing industry, everyone loses... except you.
game_changers  entrepreneurship  risk-taking  barriers_to_entry  Seth_Godin  change_agents  thinking_big  scaling  constraints  vegetarian 
september 2012 by jerryking
Martin Sorrell of WPP Group thinks companies need to get spending - WSJ.com
June 29, 2012|Wall Street Journal | Interview of Martin Sorrell by Alan Murray.

MR. MURRAY: Are you a concurrent indicator? A lagging indicator?

MR. SORRELL: We lead the downturn, and we lag the upturn. So, we get the worst of both worlds. If people are worried, they cut marketing spending. If things are going to turn up, they wait until they're confirmed.

Open Your Wallets
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Why do you think companies are sitting on too much cash?

MR. SORRELL: I started WPP with one other person 27 years ago. I decided to do something entrepreneurial. I borrowed £250,000 and bought into a shell company called Wire & Plastic Products, which is what WPP stands for, and wanted to build a very significant advertising and marketing-services company.

The system doesn't encourage people to take those sort of risks. Big corporations are natural bureaucracies, in the nicest sense of the word. Inherently, the system encourages conservatism.

To get out of where we are, you have to be expansive. Our strategy is simple: new markets, new media, consumer insight and then the ugly word, horizontality, getting people to work together. The first two involve taking risk. Myanmar opens up, 66 million people in that country. Major opportunity. You have to grasp it. We've gone in there in the first two weeks, repurchased an agency we had to sell because of sanctions, and we've gone in with our research operations.

When markets open up like that, you have to embrace the opportunities. I think the system doesn't encourage you to take those risks.
cash  economic_downturn  interviews  lagging_indicators  leading_indicators  Martin_Sorrell  origin_story  risk-taking  WPP 
june 2012 by jerryking
How Much Risk Can You Take?
Dec 1, 2005 | Inc.com| Street Smarts | by Norm Brodsky.

there are two types of people who start companies: those who like risk, and those who don't. Whichever type you may be, there are challenges you need to confront if you want to build your business. Entrepreneurs of the first type had better learn how to rein in their risk-taking, or they'll make bad decisions that put their companies in jeopardy. Those of the second type have to understand that you can't grow without taking risks. The relevant questions are, how much risk can you handle, and how much is required to get you where you want to go?
risk-taking  Norm_Brodsky  entrepreneur 
june 2012 by jerryking
Risky Business - WSJ.com
April 24, 2003 | WSJ |By STAN O'NEAL.

Historically, investors' trust in the markets has been well founded because enterprising people have been willing to take risks. Backed by venture capital, entrepreneurs create value, employment, wealth, and opportunities. Without risk, there would be no electricity, no personal computers, no vaccines. No GE, no IBM, no Pfizer.

Of course, in any system predicated on risk-taking, there are failures, sometimes spectacular failures. But for every failure to be viewed as fraudulent or even criminal bodes ill for our economic system. The message to CEOs, to entrepreneurs and to venture capitalists right now is that you cannot afford to be wrong.

In the aftermath of history's greatest market bubble, this backlash against risk is understandable. Excesses in the system were taken to incredible levels. And while our industry did not create the bubble, it also did not bathe itself in glory recognizing or resisting those excesses.

But if we attempt to eliminate risk -- to legislate, regulate, or litigate it out of existence -- the ultimate result will be economic stagnation, perhaps even economic failure. To teach investors that they should be insulated from these forces, that if they lose money in the market they're automatically entitled to be compensated for it does both them and the economy a disservice.

In my view, the great, historical contribution of American capitalism is its ability to create value. Even when the system works imperfectly, value is created. If our financial system is to retain this particular genius, we need to be willing to continue to innovate. If we fail to rebalance the forces of risk and reward, the greatest danger may be deflation. Not probable, but not impossible either.
capitalism  Merrill_Lynch  CEOs  risks  Stanley_O'Neal  economic_stagnation  financial_system  overregulation  imperfections  value_creation  risk-taking  moral_hazards  backlash  innovation  deflation 
june 2012 by jerryking
Go Ahead, Take a Risk
June 22, 2004 | WSJ | By ADRIAN SLYWOTSKY

What are the risks you should be taking but aren't? Most managers treat risk as an unwanted byproduct of the business. They think narrowly of financial, operating, and hazard risks, such as currency fluctuations, employee fraud, and earthquakes. And they defend themselves through practices like hedging, internal controls, and insurance.

But disruptive strategic risks can be a much larger source of value destruction for a firm. I looked back to the bull market of the 1990s to analyze movements of the Fortune 1000 stocks; even then, before the market collapsed, 10% of stocks lost over one-quarter of their value in a single month, primarily because of strategic-risk events.

The most successful companies do not try to simply minimize strategic risk; they embrace such risk by making prudent bets in their growth-oriented strategies. Strategic risks include not just the obvious, high-probability events that a new ad campaign or new product launch will fail, but other less-obvious risks as well: Customers' priorities will change quickly -- as when baby-boomer parents quickly migrated from station wagons to minivans, catching most automakers off guard. New technology will overtake your product -- as mobile telephony has stolen market share from fixed-line voice. A one-of-a-kind competitor will render your business model obsolete -- as the Wal-Mart tidal wave has washed over mid-range department stores.

Although insurance and hedging can't address strategic risks, there are an array of countermeasures that can, including these three:
1) Smart sequencing for new growth initiatives. Look for incumbents that are moving deliberately, leveraging existing assets and customer relationships to gain the experience, knowledge, and reputation necessary to take the next step with confidence.
2) Proprietary information to reduce the risk of each new initiative. Gather and generate proprietary information that produces a depth of insight into the customer's needs and activities that traditional suppliers cannot match. This will make you a supplier of choice, reducing bidding volatility and allow you to plan with greater certainty.
3) Double betting to minimize the risk of obsolescence. When several versions of a new technology are competing to become the standard, it's impossible to predict which will prevail. So smart managers make double bets. Betting on both Windows and OS/2 positioned Microsoft to be the winner, regardless of which operating system prevailed.

Traditional risk management seeks to contain losses. But that's just one-half of the growth equation. By embracing strategic risk, Cardinal, JCI, and other risk-savvy companies have raised their growth potential in addition to reducing their economic volatility. That's important at a time when aggregate market growth is sluggish: The biggest risk of all is not to take the right growth risks for the business.
leaps_of_faith  Adrian_J._Slywotzky  risk-taking  proprietary  sequencing  scuttlebutt  information  growth  strategic_thinking  Mercer  Oliver_Wyman  product_launches  nonpublic  low_growth  slow_growth  insights  customer_insights  value_destruction  disruption  insurance  new_products  obsolescence  countermeasures  volatility  customer_risk  one-of-a-kind  hedging  overly_cautious  risk-aversion  de-risking  double_betting  risk-management  bull_markets  customer_relationships  dark_data  risk-savvy  internal_controls  financial_risk  risks 
june 2012 by jerryking
The Microinsurance Revolution - NYTimes.com
June 6, 2012 | NYT | By TINA ROSENBERG.

Insurance is a peculiar product, unavailable to those who need it most. One group is people likely to make claims — if you want health insurance, for example, best not to be sick. The other underserved group is the poor.

Poor people need insurance more than wealthier people do, because they have no other cushion. Few people are always in a state of poverty. Most are cyclically poor. They work and save, but then something happens and they fall into poverty : a crop failure, a loss of a job, the death of a breadwinner. Often, the trigger for poverty is illness....Insurance offers a safety net, of course, but it is more than that. If you know you are covered, you’ll be more likely to invest in the future. “Your whole capacity to take risks changes,” says Andrew Kuper, president and founder of LeapFrog Investments, which helps to scale up companies worldwide that provide insurance to the underserved. “A daughter can go to school rather than work, the farmer can plant crops that can triple his income. We’re used to thinking of insurance as a safety net, but it’s also a springboard.”
smallholders  insurance  microfinance  Bottom_of_the_Pyramid  poverty  safety_nets  risk-taking  scaling  risk-preferences  risk-tolerance  underserved 
june 2012 by jerryking
UNPRECEDENTED VOLATILITY A HALLMARK OF AGRICULTURE’S NEW AGE
* Have a plan for the future – perhaps a surprise to some, but many farmers don’t have a plan in place that paints a vision for where they want to take their operation over the next 2, 5 and 10 years.
• Have credit in place before it is actually required – it is human nature to leave things to the last minute.
• Implement a sound hedging strategy – in addition to the system of crop insurance in place in this country, there are many ways that Canadian farmers can take actions to manage their risk. Diversifying into new businesses is one example.
• Well-managed risk can pay off – at the same time, taking on some risk that is prudent and ts the risk pro le of the farming operation can pay off handsomely for farmers. In such a volatile and fast paced environment, there are bound to be some buying and selling opportunities that open up. Knowing when to take advantage of them can separate successful farms with those that muddle along.
• Know your costs – many producers have a good sense of how their top line is performing. But it is just as impor-tant to have a good understanding of the cost side of the equation.
• Maintain adequate liquidity and reasonable leverage – in order to mitigate the risks associated with increasing asset prices, it would be prudent for farmers to ensure that they have sufficient liquidity and manageable leverage if they are expanding.
• Use reasonable interest rate assumptions in assessing investment opportunities – even though borrowing costs are unusually low, farmers must be mindful of the fact that this low-rate environment won’t last forever.
agriculture  uncertainty  volatility  farming  liquidity  leverage  hedging  futures_contracts  diversification  new_businesses  risks  risk-management  risk-taking  OPMA  WaudWare  interest_rates  vision  long-term  never_forever  business_planning  credit  costs  anticipating  risk-mitigation  low-interest  cost-consciousness 
may 2012 by jerryking
10 Things They Don't Tell You at Graduation - WSJ.com
April 27, 2012 | WSJ | By CHARLES WHEELAN.

10 Things Your Commencement Speaker Won't Tell You

April 27, 2012 | WSJ | By CHARLES WHEELAN.

10 Things Your Commencement Speaker Won't Tell You

1. Your time in fraternity basements was well spent. The same goes for the time you spent playing intramural sports, working on the school newspaper or just hanging with friends. ...One of the most important causal factors associated with happiness and well-being is your meaningful connections with other human beings....think "friendships.

2. Some of your worst days lie ahead. Graduation is a happy day. But my job is to tell you that if you are going to do anything worthwhile, you will face periods of grinding self-doubt and failure. Be prepared to work through them. ... no one can afford to retire.

3. Don't make the world worse. .... don't use your prodigious talents to mess things up.

4. Marry up

5. Help stop the Little League arms race. Kids' sports are becoming ridiculously structured and competitive. What happened to playing baseball because it's fun? We are systematically creating races out of things that ought to be a journey. We know that success isn't about simply running faster than everyone else in some predetermined direction.

6. Read obituaries. They are just like biographies, only shorter. They remind us that interesting, successful people rarely lead orderly, linear lives.

7. Your parents don't want what is best for you. They want what is good for you, which isn't always the same thing. There is a natural instinct to protect our children from risk and discomfort, and therefore to urge safe choices. Theodore Roosevelt—soldier, explorer, president—once remarked, "It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed."

8. Don't model your life after a circus animal. Performing animals do tricks because their trainers throw them peanuts or small fish for doing so. You should aspire to do better. You will be a friend, a parent, a coach, an employee—and so on. But only in your job will you be explicitly evaluated and rewarded for your performance. Don't let your life decisions be distorted by the fact that your boss is the only one tossing you peanuts. ...

9. It's all borrowed time. Take nothing for granted, not even tomorrow. ....the "hit by a bus" rule. Would I regret spending my life this way if I were to get hit by a bus next week or next year? And the important corollary: Does this path lead to a life I will be happy with and proud of in 10 or 20 years if I don't get hit by a bus.

10. Don't try to be great. Being great involves luck and other circumstances beyond your control. The less you think about being great, the more likely it is to happen. And if it doesn't, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being solid.
commencement  Colleges_&_Universities  good_enough  public_speaking  speeches  Communicating_&_Connecting  new_graduates  self-doubt  failure  risk-taking  discomforts  marriage  obituaries  Theodore_Roosevelt  happiness  friendships  arms_race  personal_connections  advice  affirmations  beyond_one's_control  luck  mybestlife 
april 2012 by jerryking
Kick-Start Your Career
August 15 2006 | Fortune | By Anne Fisher.

The era of tedious dues-paying to earn career advancement is long gone and, for the cohort who grew up during the have-it-all Eighties and joined the workforce in the go-go late '90s, waiting around for a chance to move up is just maddening.

If that describes you, two words: Don't wait.

"If you're in middle management at any age, but especially in your 30s, you have a big decision to make. Do you really want to break into the senior echelons?," asks Phylis Esposito. "If so, you have to find a way to stand out. You have to get more visible, which usually means taking a risk - sometimes a big risk. It's tough, because you may even have to put everything you've already earned on the line in order to do it."

You need a strong network of friends and allies, too. We've all heard and read plenty by now about the importance of networking, although it is one of those notions that often seems honored in the breach. Consider a recent survey of 1,805 managers by ExecuNet, an online career-services firm: 84 percent of those polled said they believe a broad network of personal and professional contacts is essential for success in business. Yet only 19 percent said their own networks are in "good" or "excellent" shape.
movingonup  risks  Managing_Your_Career  risk-taking  networking  networks  jump-start 
march 2012 by jerryking
Steve Jobs and the Power of Taking the Big Chance - NYTimes.com
By STEVE LOHR
Published: October 8, 2011

DO WHATEVER IT TAKES TO DELIGHT CUSTOMERS
GOOD IDEAS TAKE TIME
DON’T DWELL ON MISTAKES.
PASSION COUNTS FOR A LOT
Steve_Jobs  Steve_Lohr  lessons_learned  risk-taking  failure  mistakes  passions  delighting_customers 
october 2011 by jerryking
Joseph Jimenez of Novartis, on Finding the Core of a Problem - NYTimes.com
By ADAM BRYANT
Published: October 8, 2011
This interview with Joseph Jimenez, chief executive of Novartis, the pharmaceutical company, was conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant.
Novartis  goal-setting  truth-clarity  telling  risk-taking  CEOs  leadership  customer_centricity  organizational_culture 
october 2011 by jerryking
Charles Schwab: Every Job Requires an Entrepreneur - WSJ.com
SEPTEMBER 28, 2011 | WSJ | By CHARLES R. SCHWAB. Every Job Requires an Entrepreneur
Someone took risks to start every business—whether Ford, Google or your local dry cleaner.

What's the potential power of the entrepreneur's simple leap of faith? The success of a single business has a significant payoff for the economy. Looking back over the 25 years since our company went public, Schwab has collectively generated $68 billion in revenue and $11 billion in earnings. We've paid $28 billion in compensation and benefits, created more than 50,000 jobs, and paid more than $6 billion in aggregate taxes. In addition to the current value of our company, we've returned billions of dollars in the form of dividends and stock buybacks to shareholders, including unions, pension funds and mom-and-pop investors.

The wealth created for our shareholders—a great many of them average Schwab employees—has been used to reinvest in existing and new businesses and has funded a myriad of philanthropic activities. We've also spent billions buying services and products from other companies in a diverse set of industries, from technology to communications to real estate to professional services, thereby helping our suppliers create businesses and jobs.
entrepreneurship  risk-taking  editorials  entrepreneur  government  policy  regulation  job_creation  Charles_Schwab  large_payoffs  mom-and-pop  leaps_of_faith  wealth_creation 
september 2011 by jerryking
Jobs's Legacy: Changing How We Live - WSJ.com
AUGUST 25, 2011 | WSJ | By WALT MOSSBERG. Jobs changed the
way people live by being willing to take big risks on new ideas, and not
be satisfied with small innovations fed by market research. He insisted
on high quality and had the guts to leave out features others found
essential and to kill technologies, e.g. the floppy drive & the
removable battery. And he has been a brilliant marketer, personally
passionate about his products.. he introduced the dominant digital music
player, the iPod, & created the most successful digital media
service, iTunes. He introduced the first super-smartphone, the iPhone,
the only truly successful tablet computer, the iPad, which is in the
process of replacing the laptop, at least in part. He built the world's
largest app store and he built a phenomenally successful chain of retail
stores, too.

Jobs has dramatically changed the mobile phone industry, the music
industry, the film and TV industries, the publishing industry and
others.
Walter_Mossberg  Steve_Jobs  resignations  CEOs  Apple  marginal_improvements  moonshots  breakthroughs  legacies  imagination  risk-taking  gut_feelings  dissatisfaction 
august 2011 by jerryking
Why You Should Stop Being a Wimp
Aug. 3, 2011 |BNET|By Suzanne Lucas |Ever met a successful
wimp? No such thing. The person who succeeds in the world of work isn't
the person that refuses to take chances. Business owners must take
financial & personal risks, evaluate mkts. & spot gaps which
they try to fill. Sometimes they commit to paying other people’s
salaries before knowing for sure if they’ll bring in enough $ to pay
their own. Successful sales people go out every day & risk rejection
in order to sell their products. You can't expect customers to
call. SVPs didn’t get there by keeping their head down & doing
precisely what their bosses asked of them. They looked for new
opportunities, suggested new paths for the biz, made difficult
decisions..This isn’t advice to be irrational, nor rude. Be politely
firm. Think through your plans–you must have plans in the 1st. place.
Do take risks where there is potential for payoff, do speak up in
meetings, do work your ass off and do ask for the recognition you
deserve.
advice  chutzpah  financial_risk  hard_choices  hustle  independent_viewpoints  indispensable  individual_initiative  intrinsically_motivated  It's_up_to_me  jck  ksfs  opportunities  overlooked_opportunities  owners  personal_payoffs  personal_risk  recognition  rejections  risk-taking  self-starters  speaking_up  uncharted_problems 
august 2011 by jerryking
In the age of social media, can we have some discourse? -
Jan. 07, 2011The Globe and MailJudith Timson. Conversation:
How Talk Can Change Our Lives, published in 2000 by British philosopher
and author Theodore Zeldin after a series of BBC talks. Educators and
conciliators love his key point, that a good conversation “involves
risk” because you enter it “with a willingness to emerge a slightly
different person.”....bring the attitude of questioning – “Why do you
think that?” – into discussions.
Communicating_&_Connecting  conversations  howto  books  risk-taking  Judith_Timson  questions  risks  public_discourse  disclosure  BBC  personal_risk 
march 2011 by jerryking
Building a Culture of Risk
26 Nov. 2010 | The Agenda | by Stavros Rougas . Canada doesn't
have the same risk-loving culture as our more entreprenurial neighbours
south of the border. In the 3rd segment of the prgrm we ask Glen Murray,
Ontario’s Min. of R & D& Innovation, how to encourage
innovation in a place that is proud of its risk intolerance in the fin.
sector. While the context of tonight’s program risk is about economics,
we'll end with a poem by the late Leo Buscaglia that speaks to the
underlying values of risk:
To hope is to risk pain.
To try is to risk failure.
But risk must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to
risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing, and is
nothing.
He may avoid suffering & sorrow, but he simply cannot learn,
feel, change, grow, live, or love.
Chained by his addictions, he's a slave.
He has forfeited his greatest trait, & that is his individual
freedom.
Only the person who risks is free.

- Leo Buscaglia
risks  risk-taking  organizational_culture  entrepreneurship  start_ups  inspiration  e-commerce  uWaterloo  innovation  poems  poetry  poets  soul-enriching  risk-tolerance 
november 2010 by jerryking
Understanding change in a business
The Globe and Mail. Seventy per cent of big changes in a company fail; John Kotter explains why

The Kotter model

In the 90s Harvard-professor John P. Kotter had been observing this process for almost 30 years. In his book Leading Change he argues that to make big changes significantly and effectively, there are generally eight basic things that must happen:

INSTILL A SENSE OF URGENCY. Identifying existing or potential crises or opportunities. Confronting reality, in the words of Execution-authors, Charan and Bossidy.
BUILD A GUIDING COALITION. Assembling a strong guiding coalition with enough power to lead the change effort. And make them work as a team, not a committee!
CREATE A VISION AND SUPPORTING STRATEGIES. We need a clear sense of purpose and direction. In less successful situations you generally find plans and budgets, but no vision and strategy; or the strategies are so superficial that they have no credibility.
COMMUNICATE. As many people as possible need to hear the mandate for change loud and clear, with messages sent out consistently and often. Forget the boring memos that nobody reads! Try using videos, speeches, kick-off meetings, workshops in small units, etc. Also important is the teaching of new behaviours by the example of the guiding coalition
REMOVE OBSTACLES. Get rid of anything blocking change, like bosses stuck in the old ways or lack of information systems. Encourage risk-taking and non-traditional ideas, activities, and actions. Empowerment is moving obstacles out of peoples' way so they can make something happen, once they've got the vision clear in their heads.
CREATE SOME QUICK WINS. This is essential for creating momentum and providing sufficient credibility to pat the hard-working people on the back and to diffuse the cynics. Remember to recognize and reward employees involved in the improvements.
KEEP ON CHANGING. After change organizations get rolling and have some wins, they don't stop there. They go back and make wave after wave of other actions necessary for long-term, significant change. Successful change leaders don't drop the sense of urgency. On top of that, they are very systematic about figuring out all of the pieces they need to have in place before they declare victory.
MAKE CHANGE STICK. The last big step is nailing big change to the floor and making sure it sticks. And the way things stick is through culture. If you can create a totally new culture around some new way of managing, it will stay. It won't live on if it is dependent on one boss or a couple of enthusiastic people who will eventually move on.

Kotter.gif

We can divide these eight steps in three main processes. The first four steps focus on de-freezing the organization. The next three steps make change happen. The last step re-freezes the organization on the next rung on the ladder.

Kotter avoids any discussion re how this high level approach ties into Project Management. Anderson & Anderson (The Change Leaders Roadmap) adopt a similar high level approach however do tie it into the lower level by adding in a lot of trad. PM items.
John_Kotter  organizational_change  change_management  eels  urgency  Communicating_&_Connecting  roadmaps  change_agents  risk-taking  obstacles  obstructionism  entrenchment  quick_wins  non-traditional  shared_consciousness  momentum  operational_tempo  project_management  action_plans 
october 2010 by jerryking
Pictet Partner Reflects on His Career and Asian Growth - WSJ.com
JUNE 8, 2010 | WSJ | by DUNCAN MAVIN. WSJ: What has surprised
you most about Asia's private-banking industry?

Mr. Pictet: I am impressed by the tremendous ability of Asian
high-net-worth individuals to create wealth through their business
networks. They didn't just survive the last few financial market crises
relatively unscathed, but also demonstrated their remarkable capability
to replenish their liquidity in a very short time frame.

WSJ: What's the difference between high-net-worth investors and the rest
of us?

Mr. Pictet: Generally, if you are talking to high-net-worth clients
familiar with financial markets on a world-wide basis, they tend to
target a return on investment with a shorter time horizon. They
personally get involved in decision-making rather than giving a mandate
to professional managers, and assume a somewhat higher risk profile with
frequent use of leveraging.
private_banking  high_net_worth  Asians  leverage  personal_involvement  risk-taking  ROI  time_horizons  holding_periods 
june 2010 by jerryking
Spillonomics - Underestimating Risk - NYTimes.com
May 31, 2010 |NYT | By DAVID LEONHARDT. The people running BP
did a dreadful job of estimating the true chances of events that seemed
unlikely — and may even have been unlikely — but that would bring
enormous costs....We make two basic — and opposite — types of mistakes.
When an event is difficult to imagine, we tend to underestimate its
likelihood. This is the proverbial black swan...On the other hand, when
an unlikely event is all too easy to imagine, we often go in the
opposite direction and overestimate the odds.
BP  risk-taking  risk-assessment  oil_spills  mistakes  black_swan  underestimation  underpricing  unthinkable  overestimation  dual-consciousness  unimaginable  frequency_and_severity  improbables  disasters  disaster_preparedness  imagination  low_probability 
june 2010 by jerryking
Underlying Goldman Deal, a Different Set of Risk-Takers - WSJ.com
APRIL 22, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By CARRICK MOLLENKAMP ,
MARK WHITEHOUSE And ANTON TROIANOVSKI. The Busted Homes Behind a Big
Bet.
SEC  allegations  hedge_funds  Goldman_Sachs  fraud  risk-taking  big_bets 
april 2010 by jerryking
Gap Widens Between Tech Richest and the Rest - WSJ.com
MARCH 16, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | Ben WORTHEN. A handful
of cash-rich companies are consolidating power in the technology
industry, using their wealth to expand into new businesses and making it
harder for small and midsize competitors to break through. Why the
industry is evolving this way is rooted in balance sheets. Over the past
2 years, Apple Inc., Oracle Corp., Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and 6
other large tech companies have generated $68.5 billion in new cash,
compared with just $13.5 billion for the other 65 tech companies in the
S&P 500 Index combined. Because of their massive cash accumulation,
these companies can afford to take risks that smaller companies can't
at a time when the economy remains fragile. The result is a bifurcated
tech landscape, says Erik Brynjolfsson, a professor at MIT's Sloan
School of Management.
Apple  barbell_effect  Ben_Worthen  Big_Tech  cash  cash_reserves  consolidation  Erik_Brynjolfsson  Fortune_500  Google  large_companies  market_power  Microsoft  new_businesses  Oracle  risk-taking  small_business  start_ups  trends  winner-take-all 
march 2010 by jerryking
Where are the Kissingers for the 21st century?
Feb. 26. 2010 | The Globe & Mail | by Jeremi Suri. At
its core, leadership is about connections and calculated risk-taking.
Mr. Kissinger excelled at both. He was a big-picture thinker who drew
actively on the work of people with diverse areas of expertise. Mr.
Kissinger might not have done the original research, but he knew how to
identify and exploit valuable new knowledge. In the decades after the
Second World War, Mr. Kissinger guided policy-makers in their responses
to the challenges of postwar reconstruction, communist containment, the
nuclear arms race, limited warfare, Third World revolutions and détente.
Henry_Kissinger  career_paths  leadership  risk-taking  the_big_picture  Communicating_&_Connecting  humanities  realpolitik  21st._century  statesmen  diplomacy  strategic_thinking  grand_strategy  APNSA 
march 2010 by jerryking
RETHINKING EVERY RULE OF REINVENTION
May 1, 2006 | Advertising Age | by Scott Bedbury. Great
brands like Nike and Starbucks have transcended the commodity nature of
their categories and become global brand leaders. Essential to both
brands is a nontraditional view toward marketing, particularly in the
area of consumer research, and a cultural commitment to risk taking and
the inevitable mistakes that happen through continuous innovation. For
these brands reinvention is not a one-time event but an ongoing
commitment. Here are four things to keep in mind as you consider ways to
reinvent your brand: 1. Study your competition above all else. 2. Test
your way into it. 3. Think in terms of current distribution. 4. Avoid
mistakes.
consumer_research  branding  risk-taking  incrementalism  innovation  reinvention  Nike  Starbucks  organizational_culture  brands  experimentation  trial_&_error  competition  distribution_channels 
january 2010 by jerryking
The Protocol Society
Dec. 22, 2009 | NYT | By DAVID BROOKS. A protocol economy has
very different properties than a physical stuff economy. The success
of an economy depends on its ability to invent and embrace new
protocols, its' “adaptive efficiency,” -- how quickly a society can be
infected by new ideas. Protocols are intangible, so the traits needed to
invent and absorb them are intangible, too. First, a nation has to have
a good operating system: laws, regulations and property rights. Second,
a nation has to have a good economic culture: attitudes toward
uncertainty, the willingness to exert leadership, the willingness to
follow orders. A strong economy needs daring consumers (China lacks
this) and young researchers with money to play with (N.I.H. grants used
to go to 35-year-olds but now they go to 50-year-olds). See “From
Poverty to Prosperity,” by Arnold Kling and Nick Schulz and Richard
Ogle’s 2007 book, “Smart World,” When the economy is about ideas,
economics comes to resemble psychology.
David_Brooks  innovation  books  culture  adaptability  ideaviruses  risk-taking  R&D  N.I.H.  property_rights  regulations  rule_of_law  institutional_integrity  services  digital_economy  rules-based  intellectual_property  demand-driven  psychology  customer-driven  intangibles  behavioural_economics  protocols  poverty  prosperity 
december 2009 by jerryking
Going beyond 'Moneyball'
October 24 2006 | FORTUNE Magazine | By Brian O'Keefe, Fortune
senior editor. 'QA with Moneyball author and sports economist Michael
Lewis who explains how iconoclasts in business and sports find new ways
to succeed, and discusses his new book. "This is painful for most
people to do, because they face ridicule and ostracism. I think
intelligence is overrated as a quality central to this kind of
innovation. It's a kind of nerve. It's the ability to take a risk."
"People are put in natural underdog situations where if they do things
the way that everybody else does, they are certain to lose."
Michael_Lewis  innovation  silicon_valley  Moneyball  overrated  iconoclasts  underdogs  books  risk-taking  ridicule  ostracism 
november 2009 by jerryking
The Best Innovations Are Those That Come From Smart Questions
April 13, 2004 | Wall Street Journal Pg. B1| By Carol
Hymowitz. Like other leaders seeking innovative products or strategies,
Dr. Hunter, 41 years old, encourages employees to ask unusual and
probing questions to generate new ideas. Dr. Hunter's efforts began with
a few questions he asked himself about how traditional drugs might be
used in nontraditional ways. When he was a medical resident, he wondered
whether drugs that are extremely potent in large doses might be used to
combat a variety of diseases if prescribed in much smaller doses.""You
have to celebrate the failures," he explains. "If you send the message
that the only road to career success is experiments that work, people
won't ask risky questions, or get any dramatically new answers." "
innovation  Carol_Hymowitz  Angiotech  failure  questions  entrepreneur  risk-taking 
october 2009 by jerryking
Take Smart Risks
09.21.09 | Wired Magazine | by By William Gurstelle. "Done
artfully and wisely, living dangerously engages our intellect, advances
society, and even makes us happier. It is possible to work consciously
toward joining the "golden Third": Just get in there and start pitching.
As with knife-throwing, unicycle-riding, and whip-handling, one gets
better mainly by practice. Make your choices smart ones. It's not
difficult to discriminate between a good, soul-enriching risk and one
that's just plain nuts."

A comment:

That study of risk takers vs. non risk takers is probably
biased. The random sample of people interviewed most likely didn't
include people that were dead or in prison as a result of the risks they
took.

And it is very true, but sometimes risks are compounding and other times
they are isolated. It's important to distinguish when something that
appears to be isolated is really starting to compound.
category_errors  risk-taking  risks  self-actualization  isolation  compounded  discernment  risk-assessment  dangers  psychology  soul-enriching  practice  dedication  multiplicative  survivor_bias  cumulative 
october 2009 by jerryking
How To Make Your Own Luck
December 19, 2007 | Fast Company | By Daniel H. Pink. Lucky
people think differently from unlucky people in different ways. One way
is to be open to new experiences. Unlucky people are stuck in routines.
When they see something new, they want no part of it. Lucky people
always want something new. They're prepared to take risks and relaxed
enough to see the opportunities in the first place.
Daniel_Pink  personal_growth  career_paths  innovation  strategic_planning  luck  chance  contingency  risk-taking  howto  routines  rainmaking  open_mind  curiosity  think_differently 
june 2009 by jerryking
Foundations Should Fund Risk and Growth
Tuesday June 9, 2009 | HarvardBusiness.org | blog post by Dan Pallotta.
foundations  nonprofit  risks  risk-taking  finance  growth 
june 2009 by jerryking
Calculated Leaps of Faith - Associations Now Magazine - Publications and Resources - ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership
October 2006 | ASSOCIATIONS NOW | By: Angela Hickman Brady

An organization's capacity for risk taking may determine whether it
succeeds or fails. Part game of chance, part discipline, the willingness
to shake off the status quo can change your association for the better.
innovation  change  strategy  business  associations  CARP  leaps_of_faith  planning  organizational_capacity  risk-taking 
may 2009 by jerryking
reportonbusiness.com: Charles Sirois: 'You need to be born an entrepreneur'
April 27, 2009 | Globe & Mail | by GORDON PITTS. Interview
with uber-entrepreneur

Mr. Sirois, at 54, recently became chairman of the Canadian Imperial
Bank of Commerce. These days, he gets as big a kick out of mentoring
nascent African capitalists through his Enablis Entrepreneurial Network
as kick-starting ventures of his own.
jck  Gordon_Pitts  Charles_Sirois  risk-assessment  risk-taking  CIBC  serial_entrepreneur  interviews 
april 2009 by jerryking
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