Great question Dave. My experience has been — regardless of what is said otherwise, that most Boards of Directors are very risk averse and, due to risk management concerns, tend to play it safe. What this means is two things. Number one, they are skeptics… of everything. Even if the pilot / experiment shows positive promise, they don’t believe it. Second, because of this, they put a lot of pressure on the CEO to also play skeptic. So, that’s the backdrop. To answer your question, when the annointed ones go out and actually find full-scale market success on a concept that had shown pilot promise, the BoDs and CEOs aren’t necessarily unhappy, but they do tend to be embarrassed that their skepticism was misplaced, which leads them to the hem and haw and finally say… “well, okay”… no major pats on the back there. On the other hand, when the full-scale market attempt flops, then we get the “I told you so” response, and in some cases a propensity to punish the perpetrators. Now, as you and I both know, it should not be this way (and in some, more progressive, companies it isn’t). What should happen is that the BoD and CEO should suspend all skepticism and use a data-driven business experiment driven approach to believing that anything is possible and with the right experiments around the right hypotheses, we can de-risk this whole thing and while still having the occasional inevitable failure, will by and large come out very much on top of this. Furthermore, the rewards should be for trying new things — succeed or fail. Otherwise, punishing failures is the unspoken incentive to stick with the status quo and never try anything new… not the formula for business resilience.

CEO — Legacy Innovation Group / Executive Director — Global Innovation Institute. Speaker. Writer. Scholar. Strategist. Adventurer. Global hitchhiker.

CEO — Legacy Innovation Group / Executive Director — Global Innovation Institute. Speaker. Writer. Scholar. Strategist. Adventurer. Global hitchhiker.