Stack the Deck for Creative Risks

Imagine a workplace where you design & implement an innovation the world craves.

Consider meetings where you play with what if … kinds of challenges.

Stack the Deck for Creative Risks

Or picture leadership courses where you apply newly discovered facts to create life-changing improvements at work.

Seems easy enough, you say?

Yet look at how inventions rarely find space in work or college sessions. Been there?

Singapore, Sweden, Luxembourg, Denmark, and South Korea—outperform the United States in international competitiveness and innovation, according to The Atlantic Century: Benchmarking EU & U.S. Innovation and Competitiveness.

Judy Estin. Former exec at Cisco Systems, who wrote Closing the Innovation Gap which discusses the decline of U.S. innovation since World War II, put it this way:

As a country and a business community, we’ve lost the courage to take risks.

Simply stated – we’ve Lost Courage to Risk

Instead, risks get clobbered daily whenever you:

- Measure achievement with flawed reviews. See Forbes where a street kid story showed how one nun stacked the deck, and reviewed in ways that motivated a race toward discovery and adventure.

- Talk and deliver without questioning & wondering. Check out research from the National Training Labortories to see how lectures and talks hurl facts from a lecturer’s  notes to a listener’s head, without touching minds. To stack the deck is to engage people such as these leaders in training – in supportive ways to risk innovation.

- Dictate one way rather than facilitate diversity. Recent McKinsey polls confirm that workshops  rarely or never create diversity that jumpstarts innovation in an organization. Why not stack people’s deck by rebooting brainpower for taking chances at work.

- Cling to traditions that nullify risks and kill innovation. Universities that cling to traditional practices, for instance, shut down the very brainpowered innovations they espouse to champion. In the annual premium lecture at the University of the West Indies, Dr. Robyn McMaster and I challenged the campus community to stack decks by applying neuro discoveries that promote risk.

Innovation isn’t something delivered in talks, but it’s a design you invent, do, and perfect. How will you stack the deck today for more creative risks?

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