How executives and entrepreneurs see risk: sinking the boat or missing it

Zuloaga ImatgeArtículos, Blog English, Fran ChuánLeave a Comment

Some time ago we read in the Harvard Business Review’s blog a reference to Peter Dickson and Joseph Giglierano that called our attention because of its visual way of reflection and the analogy referred to the risk that everyone faces. And the perceptions and consequences that both of them produce too.

Dickson and Giglierano state that executives and entrepreneurs face two very different kinds of risks. One of them is that their organization will make a bold move that fails, a risk that they refer to as “sinking the boat”; the other one is that their organization will fail to make a bold move that would have been a success, a risk they call “missing the boat.”


Naturally, executives are more worried about sinking the boat than about missing it. In other words, they are less propitious to take certain risks that could affect their boat’s seaworthiness.

Meanwhile, entrepreneurs are worried about missing the boat. They are concerned about losing the necessary flexibility to take advantage of all the opportunities

Al of this makes us think in the analogy we use in our book, refereed to “gorilla organizations” and “monkey organizations”, in which we reflect that innovation is not a question of size, but of culture. The enterprising spirit (corporative or not) should be stimulated as long as it does not stop building the future of the company.

Because… who does create the future? Executives or entrepreneurs?

Fran Chuán

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