To Be on the Safe Side


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to be on the safe sideMore creative ideas and innovations have been killed by these six words than by anything else.

There have been enough studies that have shown that as humans, we are more loss averse than we are open to gains. So, if we truly want creativity to thrive in our organizations, we need to find a way to circumvent this strong human tendency.

Some ideas on how to accomplish this are:

  • Set Clear expectation when defining the problem statement about what you wish to accomplish. If you are looking at coming up with a breakthrough idea, make it clear that it is ok to err on the risky side than to play it safe. Make it clear that you are setting up experiments and going after breakthrough ideas and so temporary set-backs are acceptable as long as they take you towards the breakthrough solutions.
  • Banish these words from the vocabulary of the project team or even better would be to set aside  a bowl where you collect 50$ from anyone who utters these words and at the end of the day party together with what has been collected. If there was nothing collected, party anyways as you are on your way to coming up with truly creative ideas. If you are a tightly knit team or want to be one, make people uncomfortable when they start uttering these words by staring at them and making faces. This will also add to the fun quotient of the team.

Do you have any other suggestions on how to avoid erring on this and remain truly creative to come up with breakthrough ideas?

Please share them with us so we can all learn.

PS: I found a very interesting post titled: “How our Brains Work when We are being Creative”

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Mukesh Gupta
I currently work for SAP as Customer advocate. In this capacity, I am responsible to ensure that the voice of the customer is being heard and play the bridge between customers and SAP. Prior to joining SAP, I have worked with different organizations serving in different functions like customer service, logistics, production planning & sales, marketing and business development functions. I was also the founder-CEO of a start-up called "Innovative Enterprises". The venture was in the retail & distribution business. I blog at


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