Are you stuck in your ways?

Here are my favourite tips to encourage change and help leaders and teams face the future with courage.

In any organisation, it’s easy to get caught up in the systems and processes  you already have in place – after all, they’ve been working so well for so many years, why bother looking for new ways to get things done?

Unfortunately, this way of thinking can lead teams to stagnate. After all, there’s a reason why we don’t rattle around using horses and carts anymore: someone out there was prepared to find a new way to travel, and it improved our efficiency tenfold! Here are my favourite tips to encourage change and help leaders and teams face the future with courage:

Eliminate The Fear of Failure

To even begin in the business of transformation and change, there cannot be a fear of failure amongst your team. There will always be some natural trepidation when it comes to trying new ways to do things, but a great leader will encourage their team to push through that fear, rather than add to it. If a team is terrified of making a mistake or failing completely, it’s highly likely they’ll shy away completely from innovation, leaving your team going through the motions and not advancing in efficiency at all.

Thomas Edison is often credited with a great vision regarding failure: “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” – it’s this kind of attitude that promotes a positive outlook on failing. There are some easy ways to promote a healthy perspective on failure within your team:

  • Promote learning from both success and failure
  • Focus more on the cost of the failure rather than how often someone fails
  • Do not neglect those individuals who may not conform to ‘the way things are done’ among your team – reward them equally for good work
  • Do not punish failure
  • Remember to own up and take responsibilities for your own failure and show your team how you have learned from your mistakes

Take Smart Risks

Once your team is liberated from the fear of failure, it’s easier to promote an environment where risk-taking is accepted and encouraged. However, it’s not just as simple as taking any wild idea and pushing it through – taking this approach could leave you exposed to unnecessary risks. Instead, it is essential to create a space where all ideas are welcome to be thrown around and discussed regardless of whether they are feasible. The concepts which have the most knowledge and diligent investigation surrounding them can then be taken further – with more knowledge comes less unnecessary risk.

At the end of the day, it is not often that innovation exists without posing some risk to an individual, team or leader, so it’s up to leaders to be managing risks and creating a space where innovation can flourish as much as possible:

  • Give all team members some designated time weekly to work on relevant side-projects
  • Find the natural innovators and create a diverse team dedicated to moving your wider team forward
  • Be open to throwing ideas around and never dismiss concepts, no matter how wild
  • Lead by example; show your team you are willing to change things up and try new things

If you need some guidance in how to face the future with an open mind and drive out the fear of failure within your team, contact People Make The Difference. We can help you with our training workshops, one-on-one coaching and Coach on Call services.
To find out more, call us on 0412 333 415 or visit