Uncertainty Averse

Feb 1, 2023

Its Not RISK AVERSION that is slowing your growth.

Uncertainty Aversion

Companies often lament that they don’t pursue new growth areas because they are RISK AVERSE. The keys to their success in the past have been their undoing when it comes to growth beyond the core. Their ability to scale, dominate their markets, and maintain strict financial hurdles make them shy away from areas beyond the core.  While they blame risk aversion, they have misdiagnosed the problem. After all, they take huge risks - place plants in unfamiliar regions of the world, make sizeable acquisitions, and invest in long-term supply contracts. Why? because they can calculate those risks.  But they won’t make a fraction of those investments in a start-up, a launch and learn experiment, or an open innovation engagement with a university. The problem? They are Uncertainty Averse. They fear the unfamiliar.

They fear the unfamiliar.

Understanding the distinction between risk aversion and uncertainty aversion is critical for increasing agility and growth in new areas. Uncertainty aversion is solvable, without a wholesale change of culture. Uncertainty occurs at several points in the decision making process and can be chipped away at each step of the way. Here are a few of the approaches we have developed.

Stability in the face of change
People are overwhelmed with the pace of change, creating a sense of instability and waiting for the next shoe to drop. We reduce this sense of uncertainty with executive-ready trends reports that quickly get the organization to their top 10 trend themes, stabilizing their view of the future.

Safety in Numbers
Uncertainty is reduced in a crowd. Working across an organization to create alignment on trends and opportunities helps create a common fact base that is reinforced over time.

Seeing is believing, reading is not
Uncertainty occurs when we don’t understand the big picture and how new industries and markets work. Visualizing the ecosystem for new spaces by showing the participants, influencers and observers and how they work together, gives the context needed to feel like you understand how the markets work.

Elevating, not Delegating Learning
Leaders are consumed with the day-to-day so they delegate exploration of new areas to staff deeper in the organization who report back but cannot recreate the first-hand experience. We bring the industry ecosystem to our clients by bringing in the start-ups to experts to speed up learning

When we work with you to reduce uncertainty,

we remove barriers to growth, leading to more agile investments in new areas, delivering the impact we promise to each of our clients.

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