In venture building, results are not always immediate or visible. What’s more, there are financial risks that need to be borne over an extended period of time. While leadership commitment from the CEO-level down and stakeholder buy-in is important to push through these ups and downs, businesses may also need to prepare themselves for a different set of challenges.
Certain corporate cultures may also experience higher levels of power distance, where employees defer to management direction and stick closely to the boundaries of assigned tasks. As a result, employees may shy away from speaking truthfully and openly about venture ideas put forth by management, even if customer feedback is poor. Collective effort is needed to build psychological safety. Ideas improve with objective criticism, so leaders and employees can work together to prioritize candor over hierarchy when it comes to innovation.
Viewing failure as a bad outcome may also hold employees back from experimentation and risk-taking. Instead of perfecting a single product, venture building rapidly iterates one minimum viable product after another in search of product-market fit. This “move fast and break things” mode of operation can be at odds with the culture of reliability needed in the core business to generate steady returns, so getting the talent and culture right is essential.