Creative Risk Taking — How to Start the Year in Action
Creative risk taking is a powerful tool designed to help businesses cause breakthroughs where marketing efforts are stuck or not performing according to expectations. We call it creative risk taking because it combines the element of risk and the creative process.
A lot of businesses measure their success by looking at past performance to see if they did better this year than last year. Anything registering on the plus side equals success. Anything showing up on the negative side equals unsuccessful. Remarkably, in both instances, businesses respond in exactly the same way. When planning for the New Year, they look back at the previous year's plan and make changes that include; doing more of what they have already done; doing better at what they have already done or doing a different version of what they have already done—all with the expectation that something remarkable will happen in the next year.
Unfortunately, when a plan is based on doing more, better and different versions of what has already been done, the needle doesn't move very far. The fact is; it can't because this formula will only produce incremental improvement. There's no possibility of something remarkable happening. The process gets repeated year in and year out simply because their is no alternative.
Creative risk taking interrupts the cycle of doing the same things over and over and never being satisfied. A creative risk taker is a leader; someone who is willing to do whatever it takes to get a job done. They make big commitments, even when they lack the knowledge and resources to accomplish them. On the job it might look like writing a new marketing plan and setting goals that displace the more, better, different formula. People who commit to accomplishing something outside of the ordinary find themselves in a unique place where new openings to take decisive action show up along with the freedom to be creative.
The framework for engaging in creative risk taking is a project. It is defined by a set of measureable results that if accomplished would demonstrate to everyone involved they had successfully caused a breakthrough. If the measureable results fall within what's been done before, there is no creative risk taking. If the results are totally unrealistic, there is no creative risk taking. If everyone agrees that accomplishing the results is possible, yet not predictable, a creative risk taking project has been designed.
It takes courage to put yourself at risk by committing to do something you haven't done before. At the same time it can be exhilarating and empowering to be in territory you've never been in before.
Where will you apply creative risk taking to your life or your business?