Honesty and respect create an environment in which people are prepared to make a mistake and risk looking silly - and this is where creativity and innovation thrive (see Chapter 6 and the section on managing mistakes). Exploring new ideas means going out on a limb, but it also means taking the risk that someone will laugh at or deride the idea. Strong people are unfazed by this possibility and go ahead anyway; others back away from it.
As a manager, your task is to make it safe to experiment. At first glance it can seem easier to accept everything and not rock the boat, but in the long term this leaves people feeling undervalued and unexcited. At St Luke's they talk about providing safety and challenge in balance - a tough task for managers and leaders. It means creating a ‘safe emergency' - inviting people ‘out of the box' while providing a safety net. If the net is too small, they will not play; if the net is too big, they will be too comfortable.
Your personality as a manager is a big driver in this - you must be trustworthy if you want people to take a risk around you. Be open with information, listen well, answer questions honestly, own up when you make a mistake, tell the truth, and show you care about the people who work for you. This example will build an atmosphere of open communication and be a positive driver for the business.