You need to give your people opportunities to flounder. Challenge them with the impossible. Get them in over their heads.
You’re a senior person. You’re supposed to know what can really hurt your business and what can’t. If you don’t – then hurry up and figure it out.
If you do know what can hurt and what can’t, then you know you can give your people interesting projects that will help to benefit the business, but not destroy it as they struggle.
It’s as simple as having extra capacity on a bottle neck or schedule slack in your project – you have wiggle room…always.
This is where the cost containers get themselves in trouble – in the effort to contain cost they squeeze the life out of their organizations, suffocating it until it can’t breathe because there’s no room to catch a breath. There has to be room to accommodate the unexpected. Life happens. Shit happens. You will never predict it all – yes, you should try, because being prepared is better than reacting like a caffeinated cat all the time, but even the hyperactive feline needs room to hop around when necessary.
If you run every resource to its breaking point, the instant anything unpredictable happens – it breaks.