In our last post, we talked about the issue that organizations tend to avoid risk taking. Today we will offer 3 Strategies to help mitigate some of those risks so you can work at a high performing level.

Create a Coaching Culture
Imagine an environment where people feel good about sharing their ideas for improvement with other team members and everyone is open to ideas and suggestions without the feelings of defensiveness that often accompany it. Sounds nice, but is it realistic?

It is possible, but there is much work to be done. Most importantly you have to create an environment where people feel trusted and supported. The team members must feel that they are being honoured, acknowledged and heard. Each team member’s “Psychological Safety” is a critical element in their engagement. Check out his article from the New York Times for more.

What Google Learned in its Quest to Build the Perfect Team

Set Clear Common Goals
My experience is that teams do not know how to set goals in a way that gets buy-in. Goals must be value driven and have meaning for the people that are moving toward them. Therefore, they need to be clearly communicated and exceptionally specific and relevant. If you can’t measure it, it is not a goal.

The key here is to ensure that the goals you set are team goals, and that everyone can clearly see the role they play in accomplishing it. That is the role of the leader to make sure this is understood by each individual team member. Without common goals, individuals can too easily just focus on their own outcomes and ignore the collective team all-together.

Seek a Wider Audience
How far can you go in asking others for their advice, ideas, coaching, and support? From higher up in the organization to the front line; from customers to suppliers; and across divisions and functions. Seeking a wider audience to get coaching and input is simple if you don’t make it about you. (Remove your ego from the scenario and it becomes easier.) Attack the problem or the opportunity, no one is an island. The best innovators in the world did not go it alone. As a leader, you can ask team members, “Who else did you seek ideas from on this? Who was your wider audience?” If team members know that you will always ask this question, they will start to do it before they come to you, the added benefit is it may just save you plenty of time.