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I recently heard both Jack Ma (Alibaba) and Uri Levine (Waze) extol the virtues of failure. Failure is the new success. If you’d like to test the failure temperature of an organisation, look at its risk register. You’ll often find it to be a measure of the appetite for, rather than the threat of, taking risk. Where failure has become a comfort zone, the risk matrix is always red. Everything is always a serious threat, nothing is worth taking a chance on, however well considered. It is simply better to do nothing than to risk doing something, particularly doing it right away. In the more serious cases of corporate procrastination, red just doesn’t seem enough. To scare into permanent standstill those still thinking of moving forward, shades of darker red are introduced: crimson, blood, whatever it takes. Of course, there are real risks and identifying them means something can be done about them. But the reds will be found among the ambers and greens in a balanced risk assessment. If ...

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