Help a team inch closer to perfect solutions by starting a failure contest. Why? It lets your people know that it’s better to unleash their creativity, even if the result isn’t ideal. Ask them to come up with the most outrageous idea, instead of the safest. Those risky “failures” may push them toward a breathtaking innovation—separating your company from the also-rans.

— Adapted from “Fail More, Win More,” Josh Linkner, Fast Company.

Brainstorming kills good ideas, trumpets a recent study from the University of Texas. The study suggests that people operating in groups usually become fixated on the first proposal.

Solution: Ask participants to think over the problem ahead of time, then come to the group discussion prepared.

— Adapted from “How Brainstorming Kills Good Ideas,” Jackson blog.

Does sky-high executive pay lead to worse treatment of workers? Does it make leaders meaner? One researcher from Harvard Law School, Sreedhari Desai, says that based on her studies, the higher the executive compensation, the higher the meanness score. Putting aside the other points in the debate over sky-high executive pay, Desai’s research could provide a compelling argument—if employee retention is considered a priority.

— Adapted from “Executive Compensation: The More Leaders Make, the Meaner They Get,” Scott Berinato, Harvard Business’s research blog.

Avoid broadcasting something you’ll later regret by keeping someone within your circle who has the guts to say “no.” When Cleveland Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert penned a public rant about LeBron James leaving the team, he revealed himself as bitter and childish.

A trusted, gutsy deputy would have advised, “Don’t show this to anyone at all.”

— Adapted from "The King and the court jester," Mark Sutcliffe, Ottawa Citizen.

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