Why Smart Leaders Create a Well-Defined Sandbox

“My scientists and engineers aren’t innovative enough. They don’t go after high-risk, high-reward opportunities.” –constant complaints from senior management.

“Senior management doesn’t want innovation. They have a track record of punishing people who take risks and fail”.–constant complaints from scientists and engineers.

How do you resolve this conflict?

🎯Smart leaders unleash the creativity of their teams by creating a well-defined sandbox.

A sandbox is a set of rules under which it is SAFE to try and fail.

A well-defined sandbox includes the following:

🔷Topics that can be explored.

🔷Budget that can be expected.

🔷Who can participate?

🔷The process for deciding which projects will be selected for funding.

🔷The process for providing feedback to participants and other stakeholders.

🌟The keys to success are:

🔷Start very small.

🔷Solicit input from stakeholders on what should be included and how it is going.

🔷As the leader, you will have to be a vocal champion for the program, for the successes and the failures.

🌟Many organizations are sending mixed messages to their technical teams about under which conditions it is OK to take risks. Leaders can overcome this confusion by creating a well-defined sandbox, a set of rules that establish when it is safe to take bigger risks than normal. 

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