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Member Benefit

Don't Be Afraid to Let Employees Wander

Published Fri Jul 23 2021

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To spur innovation, business leadership can’t be afraid of “wandering.” Allowing team members to explore, ask questions, and investigate things in nonlinear ways without an attachment to a specific outcome or idea is critical for creativity. Organizations that value unique solutions must make space for it. One of the most successful businessmen, Jeff Bezos, CEO of retail giant Amazon, attributes his company’s success to a prioritization of wandering. It’s this willingness to wander to which Amazon attributes its massive success. “Wandering is an essential counterbalance to efficiency. You need to employ both. The outsized discoveries—the ‘nonlinear’ ones—are highly likely to require wandering.” Part of this involves leadership getting out of the way of their employees. Managers and those in higher positions often feel it is their job to dictate how things are done; however, this approach kills innovation. Trust that your employees have the skills and knowledge to get their jobs done in the best way possible and give them the tools they need to do it. You’re likely to learn something along the way.

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