For organizational growth, offer creative staffers your full support
Smart leaders create an atmosphere of creativity by encouraging employees to take chances with creative, innovative ideas.
Organizations don’t grow by playing it safe. Smart leaders create an atmosphere of creativity by encouraging employees to take chances with creative, innovative ideas. To create such a culture, follow these guidelines:
• Create a portfolio. Even the most imaginative employees need some direction. Get them started by setting some challenges to work toward—projects that are significant and transformational. Let them decide which to work on, and give them the necessary support and guidance.
• Shield your creative types. Do your best to remove obstacles and protect employees from critics and naysayers. Colleagues who are invested in the status quo may undercut them, even without meaning to. Let employees working on new projects know you’ve got their backs.
• Get prototypes and tests off the ground quickly. New ideas can seem risky. Cut the risk by testing them as quickly as possible in small doses. Everyone will get a look at how well they work, and you’ll be able to adjust the approach and solve problems before a full-scale launch.
• Focus on learning. Don’t discount setbacks and failures. Tell employees to make every attempt a learning opportunity so they’re not obsessed with getting it “right” the first time. They should concentrate on learning what does and doesn’t work so they can make progress.
• Fail forward. Don’t punish failure, as long as employees are on the right track. Build a culture that welcomes good tries. Share stories of your own failed attempts to do something positive, along with what you learned from them. When people aren’t scared of the consequences, they’ll be ready to take more chances.
—Adapted from the Unconventional Leadership website
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