5 Questions to Ask About Risk Taking Within Your Organization


Someone who is strong in Risk Taking can really help a team come up with higher value recommendations because you are likely to push more risk adverse team members to consider ideas outside their usual comfort zone.

However, you will be more effective in an organization if you fully understand how the organization makes decisions, what its strategy for success is, and the overall culture of risk taking.

To help you quickly learn about these points, make appointments with 3 to 5 more senior people and ask them the following questions:






1. How do non-routine decisions get made around here?

  • Who usually has to be involved?
  • Who takes the lead?

2. What kinds of data, information, or analyses are most often asked for by higher managers when considering proposals?

  • How about when reviewing or evaluating decisions?

3. Tell me about some recent decisions made in the organization that you considered non-routine or even risky.

4. How does the organization measure success? 

  • What is our strategy to achieve this success – how do we want to do it? 
  • How is our department expected to contribute? 

5. What are the “don’t go there” areas of potential products, services, processes or tools where the organization is not open to discussion?


When you have completed your interviews, summarize with bullet points what you learned about how the organization makes decisions, what its strategy is for success, and the overall comfort with risk. Use this as a road map for evaluating your subsequent projects and recommendations.



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