The Risk Factor: Why Every Organization Needs Big Bets, Bold Characters, and the Occasional Spectacular Failure

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9781137279286: The Risk Factor: Why Every Organization Needs Big Bets, Bold Characters, and the Occasional Spectacular Failure

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.

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About the Author:

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.

Review:

The Risk Factor smartly juxtaposes our culture of caution against the American spirit of innovation. In so doing, Perry Piscione offers a new look at the power of risk and the legacy of great ideas. This deeply informed, penetrating study is not only a great read, it is a practical toolbox for anyone in business.” ―Mellody Hobson, President of Ariel Investments and Chairman, DreamWorks Animation

“The greatest leaders accept that high payoffs require bold experimentation. If you want to be one of them, prepare to jump. Deborah Perry Piscione's The Risk Factor reminds us that calculated, intelligent risk is not only the key to building the next great company, but to solving the world's biggest and most persistent problems.” ―Vivek Wadhwa, Fellow, Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance, Stanford University

The Risk Factor is a book about the bold and the daring. It is about the risk-takers who put themselves out there, and their reputations on the line, becoming the people we admire because their boldness has touched us, perhaps even changed our lives. Deborah Perry Piscione reminds us that it is risk-taking that enables us to get to a better place in our organizations, as people, and in the world as a whole.” ―Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman Emeritus, House Foreign Affairs Committee

“Business rhetoric these days has degenerated into a soup of platitudes about entrepreneurship as if the mere incantation of applause lines will convert them to reality. Talking about being an innovator doesn't make you one: Innovators are prickly, impatient and don't have time to attend meetings where the endgame is self-congratulation and turf-protection. As Deborah Perry Piscione's The Risk Factor makes clear, risk-takers are comfortable with extreme discomfort and an impending sense of ruin. Risk means you can actually lose big, but it also means you can create something from nothing. The Risk Factor chronicles the journeys of those whose lives are a series of 3:00-a.m.panics, but who, as a result, invented the modern world as we know it.” ―Eric Dezenhall, CEO, Dezenhall Resources, Ltd., author of Glass Jaw: A Manifesto for Defending Fragile Reputations in an Age of Instant Scandal

“The reason our lives continue to improve is because of good ideas. But good ideas go nowhere without someone willing to risk failure. Deborah Perry Piscione's The Risk Factor reminds us that calculated, intelligent risk is not only the key to building the next great company, but we must be willing to take those risks to solve the world's biggest and most persistent problems.” ―Nathan Myhrvold, CEO, Intellectual Ventures

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