We’ve posted a lot about risk management recently with our report A new risk equation? Safeguarding the business model. But, of course, it’s important to remember that risk is also a vital part of what makes a business grow. No one knows this more than Luke Johnson, the man who turned Pizza Express into a household name. Here he talks about measured risk – and why we should embrace it more as we get older.
This text was taken from our exclusive Luke Johnson’s My Big Decision interview – view it in full at the link.
“I rather enjoy in a way the businesses at the earlier stages. It’s a more intimate, higher risk undertaking. But it’s also the excitement, the drama of it: will you succeed, you’ve got something to prove. It isn’t just cookie-cutter opening another branch; each new restaurant really matters. And I think there’s an adrenaline rush out of that that is missing when a company gets beyond a certain size.
“There’s a perversity that happens as you get older in that you become more risk averse. There’s a line in a Bob Dylan song, which says something like: ‘When you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to lose.’ And to a degree, at the age of 30, you think you’re going to live forever and you can conquer the world. That sense of limitless possibilities drives you to do very brave and bold things occasionally that in hindsight you think ‘how on earth did we have the cohones to think we’d be able to get away with that’. But, you do.
“Gradually as human beings we become tend to become more cautious, more aware of failure and all that sort of stuff. And actually, of course, the worst never happens, little of it matters in the long run and we probably should embrace, in a measured way, risk more as we get older – but actually we do it less.”
Read more Boardroom posts on risk and risk management. Or for further information on business risk, visit our Business Risk Services page – or to talk to a specialist advisor, please contact Simon Lowe, Head of Business Risk Services, on +44 (0)20 7728 2451; e-mail email@example.com.
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