Speaking Up Can Be Risky

People decide to speak up about a new idea or a problem that needs attention only after balancing the risks of doing so. There are actually many factors influencing when and how someone decides to become a voice for change.
— By Debra Jenkins

Truly innovative companies have a culture that invites new ideas from all employees at every level – from the CEO to the frontline staff member. It is a culture that is not easy to create. People are naturally risk averse, and speaking up about a new idea or commenting on someone else’s idea is risky. The typical thought process runs through the positive and negative possibilities of presenting a new idea that might be tossed out as unworkable or triggering defensive behavior in someone else when speaking up about someone else’s idea. A failure to speak up is usually due to the risk of personal harm. Communication is a social behavior and the risk assessment is really an evaluation of the level of social thre...

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