Risk – or more accurately, the fear of it – lies at the heart of most brands' reason for avoiding the radical. Overcoming risk aversion is a permanent challenge for The Dream Café and we have developed some innovative and effective ways of doing that.
We initially learned the art of radical innovation from artists and thinkers who got together round a café table and began to imagine alternatives to the conventions that ruled their area of practice. This inspired us to question some of the myths and rethink the ways in which business takes risks. We instinctively related to perceptions that confirmed the avant-garde as a collection of daring doers who were prepared to leap while others hesitated on the brink – operating according to T S Elliot's maxim:
‘Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.’
Our infatuation with risk taking as a key catalyst for radical disruptive innovation encouraged us to explore the mythology of the artist as loner. However, the more we looked at café culture, the more we noticed the Café's ability to act as fulcrum – a support mechanism that enabled those who were inclined to risk taking to share their ambitions and perceptions with others.
While the majority of brand and business books still emphasize the mythology of heroic individuals ...