Cover image for The risk factor : why every organization needs big risks, bold characters and the occasional spectacular failure
Title:
The risk factor : why every organization needs big risks, bold characters and the occasional spectacular failure
Author:
Piscione, Deborah Perry.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Palgrave Macmillan, [2014]
Physical Description:
250 pages : black and white illustrations ; 24 cm
Summary:
"Our most revered business icons of the last few decades are the bold risktakers, such as Richard Branson, Elon Musk, and Steve Jobs. Yet in today's stock market-driven economy, companies are playing it safe, with too many leaders focused on short-term gains, rather than value creation. The result is a static business culture that generates forgettable results--even as the world demands big solutions. So how do we get back in the risk-taking game? In The Risk Factor, Deborah Perry Piscione takes the most comprehensive look at this crucial, undervalued leadership behavior, and outlines how companies must support risk-taking across the enterprise. Exploring the heroes of risk, including entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and technologists, and the role risk-taking and failure tolerance play in their success, she makes a compelling case not only for big, flashy mergers or acquisitions, but also for unorthodox choices in everything from leadership to corporate social responsibility. Drawing on case studies from a wide range of now-famous giants (Amazon, Netflix) and successful start-ups (Tesla, Box), she distills lessons for both new entrepreneurs and established companies whose longtime risk aversion has cost them more than they realize"--
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781137279286
Format :
Book

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Central Library HB615 .P487 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

Our most revered business icons of the last few decades are the bold risktakers, such as Richard Branson, Elon Musk, and Steve Jobs. Yet in today's stock market-driven economy, companies are playing it safe, with too many leaders focused on short-term gains, rather than value creation. The result is a static business culture that generates forgettable results--even as the world demands big solutions. So how do we get back in the risk-taking game? In The Risk Factor , Deborah Perry Piscione takes the most comprehensive look at this crucial, undervalued leadership behavior, and outlines how companies must support risk-taking across the enterprise. Exploring the heroes of risk, including entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and technologists, and the role risk-taking and failure tolerance play in their success, she makes a compelling case not only for big, flashy mergers or acquisitions, but also for unorthodox choices in everything from leadership to corporate social responsibility. Drawing on case studies from a wide range of now-famous giants (Netflix, Salesforce) and successful start-ups (Tesla, NetApp), she distills lessons for both new entrepreneurs and established companies whose longtime risk aversion has cost them more than they realize.


Author Notes

Deborah Perry Piscione , is a principal and cofounder at Vorto Consulting, a Silicon Valley-based boutique consulting firm dedicated to enabling companies to innovate and grow. She is also the author of the New York Times bestselling book Secrets of Silicon Valley, and an Internet entrepreneur, board advisor and nationally-recognized speaker. A former congressional and White House staffer, she spent over a decade as a media commentator on CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, PBS, and NPR programs, and her work has been covered in The New York Times , The Wall Street Journal , The Economist, and Forbes.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Though Piscione (Secrets of Silicon Valley) brings infectious excitement about the corporate value of risk to her latest business guide, she is less successful in imparting specifics. Humans are innate "risk takers," Piscione declares, but risk has become a bad thing-except, perhaps, in Silicon Valley, where risk is pervasive and failure isn't a black mark; it's often a "badge of honor." Piscione's best at defining and describing her main subject, including some fascinating genetic components to risk-taking behavior. But, she admits, it's easy to talk about change and quite another to do it. Describe your company culture in three words, she suggests, something Google has done well, but might not be as easy for the average corporate team. Creating a "culture of how," Piscione writes, might include the "death of HR"- potentially valuable advice for a large corporation but less so for a small one, which may not even have an HR department. Still, Piscione's description of what can happen at companies that embrace risk (NetApp, Qualcomm, Intuit) may be inspiring enough for some readers to compensate for the book's detail-light approach. (Dec.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Management consultant Piscione (Secrets of Silicon Valley) examines ways organizations can gain an advantage in the areas of human resources, intellectual property, workplace culture, marketing, and leadership through an environment of risk taking. The book is structured to focus on ways companies can take chances in those areas. In several of the chapters the author's advice is not really about embracing risk but how to insulate companies from it. For example, the chapter on intellectual property has a summary that outlines how to mitigate risks by acquiring as many patents as one can. Other encounters identified throughout will hardly sound like dangerous behavior to an entrepreneur or start-up: acquire patents, hire a chief talent officer, offer employees the chance to work on pet projects, and sell by telling a story. Readers looking for advice on gaining a competitive advantage through innovation will be better served by Clayton M. Christensen's The Innovator's Dilemma or Chip and Dan Heath's Switch. Verdict The value here is the insight from established technology companies the author gathered from interviews, but overall the book offers well-trodden methods of dealing with risk. Not recommended.-John Rodzvilla, Emerson Coll., Boston (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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