Innovators reward ‘creative risks’

These days nearly every company’s mission statement includes words about ‘innovation’, yet risk-taking and creativity are often punished instead of rewarded. So writes venture capitalist and author, Josh Linkner. What drives innovation, he says, is a culture conducive to creative risks, more likely found in hyper-growth companies than established corporate behemoths. Such companies “take a deliberate approach to fostering creativity at all levels… and deploy creative thinking to attack problems big and small”. His culture-building ‘must do’ list looks familiar but contains a couple of gems, such as ‘corporate get out of jail free’ cards that allow the holder two chances to take risks and suffer no repercussions; at annual reviews, team members are questioned if the cards are not used. Creating such a culture takes vision, patience and the courage to stay the course, adds Techdirt Editor, Mike Masnick, drawing attention to Amazon founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos’, latest shareholder address. From being castigated for early initiatives, Amazon is now criticised for not taking enough risks, an irony Bezon apparently took in his stride: “A big piece of the story we tell ourselves about who we are, is that we are willing to invent. We are willing to think long-term. We start with the customer and work backwards. And, very importantly, we are willing to be misunderstood for long periods of time.”


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