Will your team succeed in bringing a new product to market? Or change how you do business? You don’t have to wait until December to know. You can get a good idea right now by asking your team this question: Does the organization share equally in the inherent risks of experimenting and trying new ideas and approaches in my work?

Culture of Innovation(Forget the complexities of the Likert scale. This is a yes or no question.)

What’s required to do something new are minds full of curiosity, hearts inspired by confidence, a belief in abundance, and the wisdom that we can always learn something. Demonstrating these traits necessitates that we be vulnerable, exposing to others what we do and don’t know, and a willingness to test things and being proven wrong.

Not all organizations have cultures designed to nurture this approach. This means the burden of risks involved in innovating is disproportionately carried by the employee. Here’s what it sounds like: You want me to try new things, experiment and fail, and speak the truth…while seeing others who have done so lose favor with their boss, not get promoted, and in some cases, get fired? What do you think I am, crazy?

In contrast, here’s the voice of the employee at the company succeeding in innovation: You’re telling me that in my work, if I follow established processes, live our cultural values, and stay focused on delighting our customer, that you’ll not only protect me if I take risks that fail, but that you’ll reward me for doing so? Sign me up. I’m all in.

Does your team believe the company has it’s back when it comes to innovating? Having the discussion is an important start to doing something new.

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