15 Jun If you want to encourage risk taking, you have to teach resilience
Increasingly our clients are asking us to help them create a culture of innovation. They want their staff to come up with new product ideas, demonstrate differentiation by bringing clients new and out of the box solutions, and find better ways of doing things to improve customer outcomes and drive business efficiency.
When people talk about great innovations, they talk about the Apple Mac and Post-its. But what isn’t talked about is the hundreds of computer prototypes before the Mac, and the 5 years and many failed glue products that it took to develop the Post-it note. Not every idea will work – you have to test and iterate over and over again until you find the right solution. Failure is just part of the process.
The challenge is that the modern workplace is not somewhere that failure can exist. People are afraid to fail. They don’t want to stick their neck out, in case it’s chopped off for an idea that didn’t work out.
If we want people to fail and find the energy to try again, we need to teach resilience. We need to equip teams to be self-aware, to manage their reactions to situations, find ways to refuel increasing their energy and motivation, and to have a growth mindset – seeing challenges as development opportunities.
And we need to support employees by building a culture where it’s ok to fail. Where leaders demonstrate resilience and model personal growth – signalling that it’s ok not to have the answer first time. Where employees can use scenarios, role-playing and games to try new things with nothing at stake except their role on the leader board. A culture where stories don’t just hero the people who came up with an idea first time, but also the people who failed and worked hard, iterating until they developed the solution.