How more risk taking can help grow Australian businesses

A recent article in the Financial Review discussed the issue of risk taking in Australian businesses. John Wiley, CEO of Lazard Australia and chairman of the Sports Commission stated that Australia has a 'risk-averse' culture and believes more guts and determination is needed for Australian businesses to grow and prosper at a rate on par with our Asian neighbours. Australian businesses are encouraged to take positive risk, that is, calculated risks where action steps are planned in anticipation for all possible outcomes. This can only be done by changing Australian business culture to a view that risk-taking is positive and should be encouraged (provided appropriate risk and crisis management systems are in place). Wiley also discussed that for this to happen, universities and leadership education systems should encourage entrepreneurship and a positive risk taking mindset. Currently, the Australian business mindset of many leaders, CEO's and board members is that if your business takes a risk and fails, that's the end of your business career. For Australian businesses to grow rapidly the cultural mindset needs to shift to promote second chances and embrace failure as "lessons well learnt". Richard Goyder, CEO of Wesfarmers also shares the view that there is not enough risk taking in Australia. "Business is about risk...the reason people invest in businesses is because they are assuming that management teams and boards can, through the creation of risk, create better returns". Click here to view the entire interview with Richard Goyder. How much 'guts and determination' does your business have? How do you use positive risk taking to grow your business?

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