Risk Averse or … ?

Here is something I ran across yesterday that confuses me quite a bit. Take a look at this graph from The Economist:

Risk Averse or ... ?

The thing that confuses me is that I often hear from managers and others here in Australia that the reason that their organization isn’t very innovative is that they are risk averse. But if you look at that graph, Australians clearly aren’t risk averse at all.

How can it be that we embrace risk in gambling, an activity that only destroys value, but we avoid it in innovation, an activity that actively creates value?

Any thoughts?

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Tim KastelleTim Kastelle is a Lecturer in Innovation Management in the University of Queensland Business School. He blogs about innovation at the Innovation Leadership Network.

Tim Kastelle

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