Risk or die
Risk is not an attitude. It is the context
Strategic designer and transformation expert
This was the clear message Barreiro communicated in the talk he gave at CreativeMornings during the series of lectures held under the global theme “RISK”. It means that it is what there is, accepting the well-known maxim “risk or die”. Of course, Barreiro, then Chief Experience Officer (CXO) of the PRISA Group, gave a much more detailed explanation.
When you arrive at a CreativeMornings talk, you’ve only seen the topic, a nice header design and the name of the speaker. Here, at the time of registration, they asked a suggestive question: “What is the riskiest thing you have ever done?”.
Human beings tend not to take risks. Thousands of years of evolution forced us to create mental structures that allow us to anticipate danger. And that is good, of course. The bad thing is that, for the same reason, we constantly seek to establish ourselves in safe zones. And therein lies the danger, because safety – and this is something that centuries of history have taught us – does not exist.
Risk could be ruled out in the pre-digital era. Any individual or organisation tended to place themselves in their comfort zone. And that was enough.
But in the highly complex digital world, which Barreiro compared to a living thing, the failure is not to take risks. We live in a context of risk (even more so now than when the talk took place), a sort of modern curse that – rather than ignoring, denying or rejecting – we must accept and embrace.
Status quo situations have no place in the digital age. What happens on any given day is overwritten by the events of the following week. It is the application of Moore’s Law to the digital context. An avalanche of change that buries any attempt at getting comfortable, Barreiro explained.
Do you want to know more about how to turn risk into opportunity in a world of digital experiences?
Learning to manage risk
The truth is that we have no idea what’s to come, as Barreiro pointed out, quoting Rami Alanko, founder and CEO of Beemray. Humanity has already experienced a first disruptive wave. But those who have survived this first digital shock are not necessarily prepared for a second shock. And this one is coming; indeed, it has already arrived (and not just a second impact, but countless), sweeping some away in its wake.
Faced with this false sense of security, the solution is survival through continuous innovation. Embracing what Alberto Barreiro calls Risk-Facing Management, a risk management in which risk is distributed in very rapid iterations. And, in addition, by establishing a culture of risk with commitment, by fostering creativity and creating protective barriers to ensure day-to-day management does not contaminate other areas of work that pursue innovation.
Above all, we must not stand still. We need to move our arms, keep swimming, always with a mission before a vision, because long-term visions, after all, solve projected problems, situations that will probably no longer exist.
And the future? What will it be like for all those people who have ever thought about facing risk? “To claim meanings, to create stories that bind us to the world we walk in?” Once again, we have ended up talking about the need for human beings to tell themselves a story. To narrate reality. Storytelling, after all.
Are you interested in learning more about the future in the digital world?