How an appetite for risk can strengthen your culture Featured

8:01pm EDT August 31, 2011
Greg Ashlock Greg Ashlock

You know that you need a stomach for risk as a business leader. You need to be able to make the tough call and be willing to live with the consequences of being right or wrong on your decision. But your ability to handle risk extends beyond the boardroom and strategic planning sessions to the hallways and offices where your employees work. You need to take a chance on your people, build a culture that suits them and give them the freedom to think and perform in a way that best suits their talents. Below are several thoughts on managing risk for the sake of your culture and your people, from area leaders who recently appeared in Smart Business Orange County.

“Once you’ve set the stage and created a vision for how we can change, that’s all lovely, but at that point, this is all just words. But the proof will be in the pudding. Your first series of executions have to really show benefit, not only in improving the process but maybe also improving the workplace morale, employee satisfaction, things that people can really grab onto both tangibly and emotionally.”

Barry Arbuckle, president and CEO, MemorialCare Health System

“The biggest thing is, at the top, you have to be willing to take some risks. If you’re willing to take some risks, it actually encourages stepping outside the box and entrepreneurship. If you’re only willing to play it by the game and nobody is able to add their creativity or anything outside of the norm, then that becomes a stagnant culture.”

Greg Ashlock, market manager and president, Clear Channel Radio Los Angeles

“My management style tends to be more about hiring great people and letting them run, giving them the field. I’m not smart enough to micromanage these people, honestly. The technical breadth and diversity among the different technology areas that we have to cover … is staggering. I have to hire great people and really trust them.”

David Hankin, CEO, The Alfred E. Mann Foundation for Scientific Research


Your words must become actions.

Set the example of risk-taking from the top.

Give your employees the freedom to use their talents.