As summer emerges in Pittsburgh, it always brings a feeling of freedom. While I am no longer a kid with the summers off, that carefree emotion always comes with the season. My friend was telling me of plans to take her kids to the pool and it made me think of my activities as a child and this rhyme came to mind:

One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready and four to go!

This saying has been around since the mid-1800s and is used as a countdown for a competition. We used it to bide a little time when we were about to jump in the cold lake or pool, or a first jump from the high dive. Typically it was around a self-selected risk or trying something new and challenging. Something we wanted to do, and we used this little saying to prepare ourselves for the leap!   It somehow helped with the commitment, even if some of us lingered at the end….. fourrrrrrr….. toooooooo…. goooooooo.  We eventually took the leap, because somehow, as kids, we intuitively know we need to take risks to grow and learn.

As my attention came back to the present, I thought of my work at Thrive. This new world of digital technology demands so much more risk-taking at work from all of us.

In the 2016 MIT SLOAN Digital business global executive study, they looked at the cultures of digitally maturing companies and the common features of those leading in this area. An appetite for Risk was in the top six.  Here is an updated study.

 While leadership creates the environment to enable safe exploration and experimentation, our cultures are made up of the collective behaviors and habits of the people in it. Us! Often, as adults we stop taking risks. We stop pushing ourselves into new territory. This is something each of us has to examine as our personal appetite for risk can now impact our business. The digital age is here. Change is relentless. While we as humans will never evolve as quickly as technology; the pace has quickened.

We hear leaders say they want to measure soft skills, and have a transparent culture with more honest feedback, which are core strengths of thrive.  When presented with a way to do this, many still pause as they consider the personal risk in disrupting the status quo, sharing knowledge or measuring the work they support.That pause is an interesting intersection that can impact progress. Finding your personal and organization comfort zones will be important as the countdown has started…….three to get ready……..four, to, GO!
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