Taking risks in the workplace: Should you or shouldn’t you?

Question: “I am looking at different ways to take risks in the workplace/office. Where can I find information on this topic?” — Lisa Hensley



Can you give us a little more background about what you mean by “take risks?” Do you mean stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new things? Or do you mean something else?

I take it that you mean stepping out of the usual day-to-day procedures? It depends on your job and any legal restrictions that might apply to the procedure you wish to change. It’s difficult to recommend literature without knowing what you intend to change. In past positions where I felt change needed to take place, I needed to get a clear understanding of what the end result should be; considered all positive and negative consequences of the change; and considered what and who the change might affect. Some procedures absolutely need to be updated and can save a company time and money and who better to create a change than the person who follows the procedure daily? I suggest providing a flow chart to show the differences between the current process and the new one to demonstrate the better process and to help you assure you touch all bases. Best to you.

Your supervisor’s attitude will help you make your decision. In fact, since you are questioning it leads me to believe that your supervisor might not like or feels uncomfortable with “risk-takers”. Don’t mix up ‘risk taking’ with ‘surprising’. I think if you have a bold idea, share it with your supervisor, get their feedback, and then execute if approved. You’ll still get that ‘risk-taker’ title without the additional title of ‘loose-cannon’.

I agree with Gary G. wouldn’t have responded any differently