Thursday, January 16, 2014

Decide, Change: The Two Essential Risks for Ultimate Success

Guest post from Tom Panaggio:

Risk is everywhere, and while common sense and consultants tell you to minimize risk, I suggest the opposite. I maintain that embracing what I call the "two essential risks" is necessary to achieve your ultimate success in business.
Sure, you hope to avoid liability, investment, and market risks as you pursue your entrepreneurial dream, so you take steps to mitigate exposure. But a business owner must embrace and leverage these two essential risks to achieve ultimate success:

1. Decide: Choose a direction and jump.
2. Change: Make both internal adjustments and external innovations to keep going and growing.

With all the potential risks present in business, how could I narrow it down to two essential risks? In my thirty years of experience, I recognized that successful businesses were always moving forward. As the business environment changed, they adapted. As the competitive landscape became more intense, they decided to meet the challenges head-on rather than defer making a move until later.

Successful leaders have the courage to make decisions and to welcome change. So it was obvious that these two essential risks were necessary to maintain the forward motion for long-term entrepreneurial success. Here is a detailed look at why these two essential risks provide you with an unexpected edge.
Indecision is the mental paralysis in humans that prevents them from moving forward. Is there anything more frustrating than waiting for a dinner companion who just can't decide what he wants even after reading the entire menu, polling everyone at the table, and getting a detailed description of each dish from a clearly frustrated waiter? This is not a life-or-death situation -- it's dinner!

But this decision-making paralysis affects plenty of people, and when it possesses an entrepreneur, there's trouble with a capital T ahead.
Decision making is a key component of execution, and execution is what transforms a plan into reality. Execution makes a business happen. By deciding to take the leap of faith, you initially embrace this essential risk and your dream becomes reality.

But this is only the first of many decisions you must make throughout your journey. The leader who wants the unexpected edge that comes from embracing risk welcomes the opportunity to make decisions. When no decisions are made, nothing happens, and you don't move forward; you stagnate, and your dream begins to crumble.
The rule is simple: Businesses must progress, and progress requires change. Change, the other essential risk, holds the risk of failure. It is a difficult concept for most people to accept. In the business world, fear of change probably is the single biggest obstacle companies need to overcome to meet the evolving marketplace challenges. What makes embracing change even more difficult is that a business must be willing to simultaneously change internally and externally, to keep progressing and remain competitive. How a business deals with change is reflective of organizational leadership and its ability to minimize the level of fear.

Internal change happens within the business walls, and it is not necessarily customer facing. Internal change can be organizational; there are changes in personnel, management, department, and staff reorganizations. It also refers to processes or systems, changes in attitude, and the business personality. While these three aspects can and do change independently, they also can be linked, thus resulting in dramatic transformation.
External change is always customer facing; it's most noticeable to your customers and competition. Innovation, an external change, brings a new competitive edge to your business by introducing products or services that increase the value of a customer's experience with your organization. Innovation is announced in the marketplace through branding and marketing.

When an entire organization embraces the risk of change, a dynamic transformation occurs: There is a continuous culture of improvement both internally and externally, and the business dynamically evolves to meet competitive challenges. As internal processes are enhanced, the change will ultimately affect the customer-facing components, thus improving the customer experience. And with the proper feedback, this in turn helps to further improve the internal process. Embracing the risk of change creates an environment of perpetual motion FORWARD!
Author Bio
Tom Panaggio,
author of The Risk Advantage: Embracing the Entrepreneur's Unexpected Edge, has enjoyed a thirty-year entrepreneurial career as co-founder of two successful direct marketing companies: Direct Mail Express (which now employs over 400 people and is a leading direct marketing company) and Response Mail Express (which was eventually sold to an equity fund, Huron Capital Partners). For more information please visit


Xu Vicky said...

Get out of your comfort zone is also i think one of the things to be successful.

Vicky Global said...

Dream big and be proactive. That's one surefire way to gain success.