“The successful people in this world are the ones who stand up and look for the circumstances they want and, if they don't find them, they create them" -George Bertrand Shaw
In companies and in the job market we are experiencing worldwide, unprecedented changes. In this environment companies have to hire people with initiative.
Initiative can be shown, taught, and developed. We have to create a culture (in family, school or in a company) where failure is not punished and where attempts are rewarded as well as victories.
More than a to do list, we should make a not to do list. Initiative grows alone when the environment is favorable because we as humans are naturally agents of change. Sad to say, authority figures (fathers, teachers and managers) tend to interfere in the development of initiative. Either for control, power or fear, we restrict the initiative of the people who are beneath us.
- We have to teach people how to decide by themselves. For that they have to participate in the decision process.
- If an idea is not valid, don't just say that it’s not valid, even though you are the big boss. Tell them why and give them an alternative. And be prepared for them to criticize your idea as well (as you did).
- Never ridicule somebody who gives an idea, however absurd it is.
- Make people feel safe, rewarding their ideas with public recognition and gratitude.
- Take them out of the shadows. They have ideas, but they need the right environment to expose them. In public it will be difficult, so talk to them personally one by one so they can explain their point of view.
- Don't punish failure!. I ́ll never get tired of repeating this. If an employee's mistake costs 8,000 euros, take it as money spent in training and organize a meeting to explain what's been learned from this to everybody. It will be money well spent. The cost of cutting initiative is infinitely higher.
I wish you a great day!
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