Innovation requires risk.

Risk, by its very nature, implies an element of failure.

But nobody–most especially companies and corporations that must stay profitable to remain in business–enjoys failure.

This leads to a paradoxical situation: Everyone recognizes the importance of innovation but few are willing to pay the real price (i.e. occasional failure.)

What then is a company to do?

One interesting option comes from Jim Donald, the CEO of Extended Stay America, who, in an attempt to get his cautious employees more comfortable with risk-taking, has taken to giving his employees Free: Get out of Jail cards that they can use as immunity for those risks they take but which result in failure.

Another option is to create a “heroic failure” award as Grey New York has done.

How are you creating a culture of innovation–and risk-taking?

Interested in some other ways to unlearn your approach to failure? Check out these older posts:

Practice Imperfection

Unlock the Keys to Failure