To foster an environment of smart risk-taking, leaders should use guardrails, not handcuffs.
Examples from the list of 7 strategies for defining guardrails:
1. Define smart vs. stupid risks. Every leader’s level of risk tolerance varies, but some amount of risk is essential to innovation.
3. Encourage experimentation. ...give the go-ahead for “managed experimentation” ...resource boundaries...and have the small team that’s in charge share the results of the experimentation phase with a larger team upon completion.
7. Celebrate smart risk-taking. The Tata Group, a global conglomerate, hosts an annual “Dare to Try” awards, which celebrates the idea that failures often lead to groundbreaking innovations. This type of public acknowledgement that every big bet won’t pay off fuels a spirit of smart risk-taking among its employees.
Within your own organization, you can use the company’s intranet, e-letters, and Twitter account to showcase individuals who take smart risks. By identifying them, you publicly reward the person/team and provide a company-wide reference point for acceptable risk-taking.
Related posts & tools by Deb: