Leaders: Have you made it safe to innovate?
In our featured Page to Practice book summary of The Leadership Challenge, there’s a section where the authors, Kouzes and Posner, challenge leaders to do three things, which create a safe environment for risk-taking and experimentation. I love this section of the book because I think this is where innovation can flourish. Kouzes and Posner emphasize three practices that nurture experimentation. 1) Conduct post-mortems. After the completion of a project, ask the team a series of questions that tease out the good, bad and ugly.2) Conduct pre-mortems. In other words, try to understand why a project might fail–anticipate possible hiccups. 3) Strengthen resilience. Bounce back from failures by gaining perspective, taking charge of change by asking what new knowledge you need and engaging the support of others in the process. If leaders can put these three practices into play, they’ve created an environment where failure isn’t a deal breaker and risk-taking is respected rather than feared.