The Entrepreneurial PM
Balancing Risk and Opportunity


Effective Risk Management is critical to project success, yet this area presents a significant challenge for many PMs. Many confuse risks (a potential future event) with issues (a materialized risk). Thus many do not focus on proactive risk identification and mitigation, since they fear such "acts of admission" signal to upper management that there are problems with the effort and create the perception that the PM does not have control of the project.

And even PMs that are adept at risk management many times focus on negative risks only and do not have a sound plan to identify and benefit from "positive" risks.

So to help PMs and Project Portfolio Managers (PPMs) develop robust risk strategies to balance the risk/reward equation, let's take a look at how entrepeneurs perceive and manage risk.

Entrepreneurs Define Risk Differently

Deborah Mills-Scofield

Entrepreneurs aren’t more willing to take risks than anyone else... they just define risk differently.


Entrepreneurs Are 'Calculated' Risk Takers -- The Word That Can Be The Difference Between Failure And Success

Paul P. Brown

With risk, one word can make all the difference between sucess and failure.

Embracing Risk to Grow and Innovate

Diego Rodriguez and Ryan Jaco

According to Owen Rogers, a designer who has worked at IDEO, "the real risk isn’t failing, it is not trying."

Mentally Strong People: The 13 Things They Avoid

Cheryl Connor

The greater fear should not be the risk of change, but the danger of complacency and stagnation.

How To Balance Business Risk Versus Opportunity

Martin Zwilling

To balance risk and opportunity, you must look at both as two sides of the same coin.


The Art of Managing Innovation Risk

Adi Alon, Wouter Koetzier, and Steve Culp

With innovation comes risk, and often only startups are willing to court the risk of failure. Recent Accenture research shows that highly innovative companies typically are not more likely to embrace risk than their less innovative peers. However, they approach innovation risk management differently.

Two Qualities of Risk Taking Entrepreneurs

Matt Harvey

Are there distinguishing characteristics of risk-taking entrepreneurs?

Richard Branson on Taking Risks

Richard Branson

What does Richard Branson advise about taking risks? Get out of your comfort zone. Step up for the challenge. And be prepared to improvise along the way.

Shaping a Risk Intelligent Strategy: Confronting Assumptions to Find Risk and Opportunity

Deloitte & Touche LLP (based on concepts from Surviving and Thriving in Uncertainty: Creating the Risk Intelligent Enterprise, written by Frederick Funston and Stephen Wagner)

This publication describes the Risk Intelligent Enterprise framework and provides insights on how to identify the “right” kinds of risks for your enterprise, and offers a strategy to help you make the most of the risks you choose to take.

About Patti Gilchrist

Patti Gilchrist, Entrepreneurial PM

Patti Gilchrist is a Sr. Technical Manager with 25 years experience implementing strategic enterprise initiatives.

Patti has a reputation for effectively translating business problems into innovative solutions and creating strategic roadmaps to achieve business goals.

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