Be Free to Innovate

Room for Risks


Innovation drives success for many organizations and businesses. But innovation also comes at a cost—it involves risks. New ideas can fail. In the following video from the WorkMatters FUSE Forums, Donnie Smith, the President and CEO of Tyson Foods Inc., explains why it’s important as a leader to create safe space for employees to fail. When employees know they can try new things—even if they fail—they will be more invested in innovating for the company. 



Many people—leaders and employees—won’t try something new or creative because they’re afraid of making a mistake and the consequences that come with failure. However, at Tyson, Donnie has committed to allowing space for his people to innovate and fail. He’s tried to remove the fear of failure, and, instead, to encourage new and creative ideas. 

In your own professional life, has the fear of failure influenced your work? If so, how? If not, why not?
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What risks have you seen in your company or organization that succeeded? What about ones that failed?
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Do your employees or team members have room to innovate? How do you respond to the failure of an employee when the take a risk on a new idea?
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What could you do this week to encourage your employees or team members to take risks? How could you begin to remove the fear of mistakes?
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Fear stops people from accomplishing great things. Fear of failure prevents employees from innovating or solving problems in creative ways. As a leader in your organization or company, you have the unique opportunity to foster an environment that squashes fear. Allow your team members or employees to innovate and take risks, and support them as they creatively advance the entire organization’s interests. 


For more training featuring Donnie Smith, check out the course Equip Your Team to Win.



To find out more about WorkMatters or to find out how to attend their next event, click here.