Taking risks and making mistakes can actually benefit your business. Here’s why:
…create a more honest, open work environment.
…offer opportunities for learning.
…lead to more innovation and creativity.
Yet, the word “mistake” carries a heavy burden and incites fear in business owners and employees, alike.
The problem with fearing mistakes is the avoidance of risk-taking, which stifle innovation and progress within an organization.
So, how can business owners encourage responsible risk-taking without jeopardizing their business? Firstly, don’t throw all caution to the wind and take risks blindly, instead consider the following.
Where do you feel comfortable giving your team some creative freedom? Some things, such as client relations are probably not a good area for taking risks.
However, you could consider experimenting with a new online scheduling tool for client meetings or adding a video webinar to your monthly newsletter.
Also, consider which areas of your business you can definitely not take risks without extensive planning and careful consideration.
How far are you willing to take a new endeavor? Let’s use the online scheduling tool example.
If the first client to use it doesn’t like the process, will you abandon ship or wait for the reactions of subsequent clients? At what point do you decide the new endeavor is not working?
Make a “game plan” before taking any new risk, including how it will be implemented and taught to your team, as well as how performance/progress will be measured.
Consider setting a trial period, where at the end you can decide if the change will be a permanent one or if it still needs tweaking.
If a new idea fails, be sure to document exactly what occurred, so you can avoid it in the future. Consider safety nets that can protect you in the event of another “failure,” so the repercussions are not so severe.
Educate your team on what went wrong and how you will solve the problem. Identify warning signs and how to spot them. Learning from your mistakes is the greatest lesson you can take from risk-taking.
Is your team prepared to take risks? You may think the answer is yes, but if it’s been smooth sailing up until now, your team may not actually have experience dealing with adversity.
Consider what type of training, coaching or mentoring you can offer your employees to prepare them for high-pressure or potentially stressful situations.
An exceptional leader must also be a great coach, so invest time into your team for the best results.
Motivation and encouragement are key to successful risk-taking. Trust is another important factor.
If employees don’t feel you trust them, they will have a hard time trusting themselves. Also check out: 5 Ways to Empower Employees with Greater Autonomy.
How do you manage risk-taking in your business? Let us know in the comments below!