People in R&D can readily appreciate that things do not usually go exactly as planned or hoped for. They will agree that one should expect a higher level of mistakes when trying to be more innovative, whether it be in new product or process development, new business process, or whatever. Of the dimensions that describe an innovative environment, Freedom and Risk-Taking are two of the most critical since together they can either ignite or effectively extinguish the spirit of innovation in the workplace. Once the mistake is out in the open, the leaders must decide how it will be handled. Many leaders shoot from the hip, moving quickly to discover all the guilty parties and then fire off blame and punishments. Another option, once the mistake is out in the open, is for leaders to lead in the learning rather than blame and punishment. The author likes to say, fix the learning, not the blame.
MANAGERS AT WORK Charles W. Prather
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