(Image and hunger courtesy of Esther17's photostream and Creative Commons.)
Bob asked what great bosses do to encourage innovation. It was an excuse for me to look back and see if I could synthesize some perspectives on that as well. I think many of these ideas and thoughts are very similar to what he communicated, but I think there are some new ones in there too. It's all a bit circular as I'm sure I'm influenced not only by my own experience, but also Bob's and others thinking.Share Direction, Give Permission, Provide Support. Commit.
Understand the range of outcomes. Seek the one you want.
Give teams an excuse to be wrong.
Focus on feelings as much as actions.
Get out from behind your desk.
Stretch while paying close attention to where, why and how things snap.
Be interested in being wrong.
Have a purpose.
If everyone agrees, go back to the drawing board.
Understand how to encourage and channel and develop intuition.
Don't mitigate risk. Mitigate the cost of failure.