How risk averse are you?

Nobel Prize winner, Daniel Kahneman says, “You can measure the extent of your aversion to losses by asking yourself a question: What is the smallest gain that I need to balance an equal chance to lose $100? For many people the answer is about $200, twice as much as the loss. The ‘loss aversion ratio’ has been estimated in several experiments and is usually in the range of 1.5 to 2.5.”

To put this conversationally, people normally weigh losses about twice as heavily as gains. So that’s what you’re dealing with during M&A integration. Folks are focused on the potential downside —how their careers might get damaged. Opportunities must be...