Thursday, December 5, 2013

Shakespeare on risk v opportunity

Shakespeare had some interesting insight to the dilemma of whether to see an event/condition as an opportunity that defines the future, or a risk that we may well regret:
There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life Is bound in shallows and miseries....
And, we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.
William Shakespeare, "Julius Caesar" 

In hindsight, this is a lot easier said than done. Indeed, we may well recognize a flooding tide... who could miss all the boats being lifted? ... but when is the tide at its flood (maximum lift)? That's a hard one to judge in real time as it happens -- perhaps if we wait, the tide will go a little higher! (if it doesn't ebb)

But, the issue is not really about missing the peak... that happens a lot with no catastrophes. The issue is about missing the whole damn tide event.... not taking a risk when opportunity presents itself.

How many projects are too risk averse to really be successful? I'll bet more than you might imagine... or admit to.

Check out these books I've written in the library at Square Peg Consulting