Setting Aside Resources for Small Bets
Competing for resources is not a fair fight in most organizations — the rich always get richer.
Organizations tend to over-invest in what is working at the expense of what could be. The established groups and programs attract the most resources.
Talent and capital are hard to come by for champions of new ideas. Investment in new initiatives and ideas tends to be cautious and conservative. Yet, everyone acknowledges that without new initiatives, products, and services, an organization becomes highly vulnerable to competitors and changes in the marketplace.
The best organizations and leaders recognize this reality and set aside resources to invest in new ideas and programs. At any given time, they make several small bets and marshal the resources to allow those with an untested idea to explore the possibilities.
They also acknowledge the likelihood that those with established programs will rain on any parade they don’t march in. That is why proactively parking money and talent to be distributed to the best new ideas is so important. In any competition for resources, the nascent initiatives almost always lose.
When enterprises replace the Hail Mary pass by taking many small risks and bets, innovation blossoms. The ultimate impact of this commitment promotes an environment where new ideas and innovations prosper.
Once everyone in the organization knows resources exist for a bright, new idea, more appear. Funny how that works.
Whatever leaders fund, they get more of. Setting aside the resources needed to take small risks and make small bets on new ideas is what good leaders do.
If it was a personal budget, what percentage of income should be designated for "learning and trying something new" each month?