I used to work with a chief executive who constantly bemoaned the fact that his direct reports “Wouldn’t know what innovation was if they bumped into it in the street”. The ironic thing about this was that this was someone who would harangue any individual who made the slightest mistake. Was it any wonder that people learned to keep their heads down and stayed within their ‘comfort zone’?
Yet leaders are under immense pressure these days to deliver improved outcomes with fewer and fewer resources. The only solution to this challenge is to find innovative ways of working. For innovation to take place people need to operate within a culture where they have the confidence and necessary ‘space’ to take risks. This ‘space for innovation’ requires leaders to establish a culture of forgiveness.