The question posed at the end of part 1 of this post was:

“How do you facilitate a culture with a drive to win, yet at the same time is accepting of failure?”

I personally believe that at the heart of dysfunction within any organization is the fear of making decisions. In larger organizations making decisions can often be a risky proposition. Think about any time you’ve had to call a large organization about a problem or issue you needed resolved; typically the person you chat with first is in no way empowered to help you find a solution. The far greater probability is that the person you are chatting with is operating from a script or very strict set of procedures. Dysfunctional organizations usually focus on process and procedure instead of delegating decision making to the front line. The front line employees operate like computer programs, cycling through preset if statements with no sense of autonomy whatsoever. Either the ability to make decisions that stray from the preset path does not exist, or the employees are afraid to make decisions because if they are wrong they will be reprimanded.

If process, procedure and fear inhibit innovation then what will inspire employees to act and be innovative?

Inspiring innovation can be as simple as empowering employees to make decisions. If an organization works to facilitate a culture where employees are encouraged to make decisions then innovation is a natural by-product.

– Ian Graham