Management Tip of the Day: Three ways to promote risk-taking

Wed Feb 23, 2011 1:27pm EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article
[-] Text [+]

BOSTON (Reuters Life!) - Tough times might seem like a time to hunker down and stick with proven strategies, but there are advantages to pushing for more of a risk-taking culture, says Harvard Business Review.

The Management Tip of the Day offers quick, practical management tips and ideas from Harvard Business Review and ( Any opinions expressed are not endorsed by Reuters.

"Over the past few years, the economy has forced many companies to play it safe and take few, if any, risks. If your company culture has become -- or always has been -- risk-averse, try doing the following things to turn it around:

1. Evaluate risk-taking. Take an honest look at your company or unit and assess whether people avoid risks. Utilize interviews, skip-level meetings, or anonymous surveys to gauge whether people feel anxious or hold back ideas.

2. Make idea-sharing safe. Create a 'safe space' where managers and employees can voice their concerns, feedback, and ideas -- without fear of retribution.

3. Experiment. Ask a team in a part of the company you want to grow to conduct a series of rapid-cycle experiments to test new ways of working. Make it explicit that failure is acceptable as long as learning comes from it.

-Today's management tip was adapted from "Taking Risks in Tough Times" by Ron Ashkenas.

(For the full post, see: here)

<p>A 'recortador' jumps over a wild cow during a show in Pamplona July 8, 2006. REUTERS/Eloy Alonso</p>