Our most revered business icons of the last few decades are bold risk-takers who succeeded, such as Sir 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, and not enough on value creation. Our political leaders won’t make a move without polling their most important constituents. Corporate leaders will follow the wishes of their biggest stakeholders, favoring safe incremental improvements over bold, game-changing strategies. 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? By breaking a few eggs.
In The Risk Factor: Why Every Company Needs Big Bets, Bold Characters and the Occasional Spectacular Failure, Deborah Perry Piscione takes the most comprehensive look at this crucial, undervalued leadership behavior, and outlines how leaders must pivot to support risk-taking across the organization, rather than mitigating it. Exploring the heroes of risk, and the role risk-taking and failure-tolerance play in their successes, Piscione makes a compelling case for bold idea creation and decision making practices in leadership, corporate culture, talent development, smart work, sales and marketing, innovation and intellectual property, and crisis management. Drawing on case studies from a wide range of now-famous giants (Amazon, Netflix) and successful start-ups (Tesla, salesforce), she distills lessons for both new entrepreneurs and established companies whose longtime risk aversion has cost them more than they realize.
Deborah Perry Piscione is the author of The New York Times best-seller Secrets of Silicon Valley: What Everyone Else Can Learn from the Innovation Capital of the World and the co-author of Unfinished Business: The Ten Most Important Issues Women Face Today. Secrets of Silicon Valley has been called a "must read for anyone who wants to learn from Silicon Valley's success."
Piscione is a seasoned Silicon Valley entrepreneur in digital and traditional media who fell into entrepreneurship after a cross-country move from halls of power in Washington, DC. She built three companies in six years: BettyConfidential, a leader in the content and ecommerce space; Alley to the Valley, a network of the world's most influential women; and Chump Genius, an educational gaming company for kids. Piscione spent 18 years as a policy staffer in the US Congress and the White House and as an on-air commentator.
Deborah Perry Piscione has won numerous awards, including the Silicon Valley Woman Business Owner of the Year in 2009, a Gracie Allen Award and a distinguished award from The White House Project. As an expert on Silicon Valley, its management and creating entrepreneurial ecosystems, Piscione shares Silicon Valley secrets with governments, businesses and organizations around the world, suggesting ways other entities can achieve a similar alchemy.