8 Tips for Smarter Risk-Taking in IT

Many people tend to avoid risks because inaction can be safer than action. However, often successful people got to where they are because they were willing to take risks that no one else was. Carla Rudder, in an article for the Enterprisers Project, asked eight technology and business leaders to share how they cope with risks. She shares their tips for taking smarter risks in IT:

  1. Challenge the status quo.
  2. Embrace emerging technologies.
  3. Celebrate failure.
  4. Change the IT scorecard.
  5. Make it a team effort.
  6. Ask the right questions.
  7. Communicate and collaborate.
  8. Prepare for the consequences.

Risks or Else

Taking smart risks is different from taking random risks, because smarter risk-taking means you act with a strategy. It is easy for organizations to be complacent with their status quo, and old habits die hard, so not many people see the need to take risks. But don’t wait until your customers complain about something, or till features of your system break down to start thinking about taking risks for transformation. Organizations should always encourage their IT team to take a proactive approach to investigating flaws in the systems and challenging standard practices to improve and identify better techniques.

When you decide to take risks, it is essential to ask proper questions. You can’t act spontaneously and expect success to come in a lucky draw. Consider your competitors, common challenges that other industries face, the scope and potential cost of the risk, and the goals you hope to achieve through your risk-taking approach. Taking risks requires you to be calculating and tactful, because bad risk-taking wreaks havoc. Additionally, don’t be too hopeful because any kinds of risk contains the possibility of failure. Business leaders should encourage their employees to take pride in their efforts and be prepared for the consequences—the most important thing is how they stand up after falling and moving on.

Last but not least, don’t forget that taking risks is not like going to the market and “investing” money in something you may not need. It is a team effort that has an impact on an organization, so avoid narcissism and dictatorial opinions. If you can take advantage of the opportunity, risk-taking can enhance a collaborative culture and pushes for effective communication that generates creative ideas.

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