Are You Missing Out by Trying to Eliminate ALL Risk?

Robert Trajkovski
2 min readNov 9, 2021


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Businesses worry about failure. Discussion of it is prevalent in most meetings and minimizing it has become a full-contact sport. Minimizing the risk at all costs is the motto of most companies.

Most companies believe that it is better to be incrementally successful vs. big idea successful.

I love the picture above. It clearly shows the different levels of impact and probability that risk can occur. BUT often in large companies, the behavior is as if every risk is high impact high probability. The risk becomes a big piece of arguing over contract terms. Everyone has become a lawyer and expects a lack of success to be litigated.

To control the risk, they institute risk management procedures and forms. Review meetings have to be held and risk understood.


Most companies believe and behave that if they can lower their risk then success is guaranteed. WHAT!!!

Yes, if they can lower their risk they feel that they will succeed. But in reality that is just a CYA (cover your #$%). Risk can bring upon loss of career and most of the senior people get to that level by being politically savvy. They know how and when to bend. And quickly.

BUT what happens if you embrace risk? What if you decide that the potential for failure exists and you are willing to accept that risk? That does not mean it will happen or it will not.

You just simply have the mindset that a certain level of risk will happen and you will be adaptive enough to minimize the impact. Probability is probability. Mr. Murphy will visit your endeavors. BUT you have to have the right people and capabilities to handle the chaos.

What happens if you succeed? Well, maybe you were smart? Maybe you were lucky? But either way, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

I manage large projects for a living. By definition, every project is new and has the potential to fail. I accept this as a possibility and try to minimize the probability of it happening. It is thinking about 2–3 moves ahead in the chess match. I can get stuck on a loss of a single piece or position. I have to make sure I play as close to optimal BUT sometimes I get surprised and modify my strategy.

NO risk NO story…

My four cents…



Robert Trajkovski

I have led people and projects in Steel/ Power, Refining, Chemicals, Industrial Gasses, Software, Consulting and Academia. I have instructed 73+ courses.