Innovation and growth does not come from doing ‘same old, same old!’ Your employees, the front line workers, many times have ideas on how to improve the way things are done. Do you allow them to try their ideas?
I grew up with a father who, if I had an idea, encouraged me to try it. If it didn’t work, it wasn’t a big deal as long as there was learning involved. Edison had 1000 unsuccessful attempts at the light bulb before being successful and changing the world.
I was also fortunate to have had employers who encouraged trying new procedures and processes. A team I led developed a new method of producing layered mapping. We were told by the experts in the field that it would not work but it not only worked, it saved us $80,000 a year in time and printing costs. Did it take a few tries to perfect it? Of course, but each was a learning step.
Through the process we learned and grew as a team, had fun doing it, earned praise from the employer, and took great pleasure in proving the ‘experts’ wrong! If our employer had not allowed us to experiment, all this would have been lost.
Will you allow your employees to try, even if they fail, or will you be critical of their ‘mistakes’?
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