Happy Labor Day: Ownership is Risk Taking

goldfish jumping out of the water

 

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.

For some, Labor Day signifies the end to sunny summer days. For others, it constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

As Development Dimensions International points out in their trend research: “Our most talked-about and revered citizens and organizations are known for their ability to create new solutions that are valuable to the marketplace and elevate their standings in the business world. Across all industries and disciplines, the ability to innovate is universally admired.”

How do people acquire and foster high levels of innovation in science, business, and sports?

While everyone is looking for the means to create the “next big thing”, the latest discussions focus on creating the “next big thing” on an ongoing basis. Put another way, making innovation a repeatable and sustainable process.

One of the key imperatives of Roberts Rules of Innovation is No Risk… No Innovation. To increase initiative and innovation, you have to encourage and even embrace failure. Another key imperative is Ownership. Most would agree that innovation is everyone’s responsibility, but employees can’t innovate unless their leaders empower them to do so. Innovation needs ownership – a champion within the organization. The champion must convince others to take calculated risks and at times work outside of one’s comfort zone. By combining both imperatives it does not take long to see that ownership and risk taking go hand in hand.

 

Ownership is risk taking.

 

In a recent interview by Adam Bryant of the New York Times, Francisco D’Souza, C.E.O. of the information technology company Cognizant has the following to say about risk taking and comfort zones:

“We started Cognizant in 1994, and there was a period early on when I personally knew everyone in the company. Now we have 160,000 employees, and there were several personal and rapid transitions over that time.

The lesson I learned is that when you have to evolve that quickly as a person, you need to be aware of two things. One is personal blind spots and the other is personal comfort zones. Those two things can be real gotchas.”

Read more about the relationship between ownership and risk taking, as well as a few tips for encouraging sustainable innovation herehttp://www.robertsrulesofinnovation.com/blogs/happy-labor-day-ownership-is-risk-taking.html