Taking risks is bad for business. It is designed to be that way. If you think about how business systems are designed, an oversimplification works like this = make a product or service, exchange that product or service for some form of payment, make sure the payment is greater than the cost of good or service, repeat, etc.
Profit margins are driven by minimizing risk, and maximizing repetition. Creativity doesn’t enter into this equation. But, should it?
People talk about wanting business and organizations to be more creative, more resilient, and more nimble. I believe that people really WANT those things. The problem is organizations have a very limited appetite for taking risks, and for allowing things to fail or not work.
Think about it – companies are designed to maximize something, profit, productivity, efficiency, health, outcomes, whatever it may be. Creativity asks for a different set of tools, exploration, questions, trying new things, failing, learning, trying again. Taking risks and being more creative is bad business. It is too risky! It puts too much emphasis an unknown outcomes!
What is true about the work that you do? Do you work for a company that preaches creativity, but is afraid to try anything new?
Here’s my advice – be gracious but persistent. Creativity is a skill. You and I have to learn and practice it, and so do organizations. Like a little toddler that is just learning to walk, companies have to practice what it means to be creative and be willing to fail, even just a little bit, before taking risks and creativity are a part of their culture.
I love the quote above by Billy Merritt (a well-known improviser and teacher), because it is a simple yet profound idea.
What can you do to make your work, and those you work with more open and ready to be creative, to be curious, and to unafraid of risk or failure? Whatever it is, I want you to do it. Take action. Don’t be afraid! I’ll support you the whole way.
Like it? Hate it? Tell me in the comments.