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Employees have great ideas on how to improve customer experience and leaders want them. So, why do employees hold back their ideas? This week’s guests, Karin Hurt and David Dye started an extensive research study with the University of North Colorado Social Research Lab on why employees are holding back these ideas. Here are some quick stats on what they have uncovered from the respondents from the frontlines. So, how can companies build a “courageous culture”, one that encourages micro-innovators, problem-solvers, and customer advocates within the organization to voice out their ideas? Karin and David developed a 7-step process:
  1. Navigating the narrative. Leaders need to get real with their own relationship with psychological safety and speaking up.
  2. Creating clarity. Leaders need to communicate that they really do want ideas and what kinds of ideas are needed.
  3. Cultivating curiosity. Managers need to proactively go out and ask for ideas.
  4. Respond with regard. Every idea that is shared should get feedback at every level.
  5. Practice the Principle. Find out what is truly meaningful about an idea and how it can be scaled and applied in different ways within the organization.
  6. Galvanize the genius. Communicate what is important in your new culture five times, in five different ways.
  7. Build an infrastructure for courage. Leaders need to make sure that courage is reinforced and not undermined.


“Leaders need to communicate that they really do want ideas and be clear about what kinds of ideas are needed. “Leaders and managers need to set the example that it is safe to speak up and contribute ideas.” “People have ideas. People are thinking innovatively but sometimes, they do not recognize that they have a solution that is going to improve customer experience until they are asked.” “When employees offer ideas, leaders need to always respond with gratitude and add information when it is necessary whether it will be used immediately or not.” “You don’t have to be the CEO to create a courageous culture. No matter what role you are in, if you have a great idea to improve customer experience, your leaders want to know about it. Have the courage to bring your ideas forward.”


Karin Hurt and David Dye help human-centered leaders resolve workplace ambiguity and chaos so that they can drive innovation, productivity and revenue without burning out employees. As CEO and President of Let’s Grow Leaders, they are known for practical tools and leadership development programs that stick. Karin and David are the award-winning authors of five books including, Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates. Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert,  New York Times bestselling author, award-winning keynote speaker, and your host of Amazing Business Radio. This episode of Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken answers the following questions … and more:
  1. What is a Courageous Culture?
  2. How does a Courageous Culture impact customer experience?
  3. Why don’t employees speak up and advocate on behalf of the customer?
  4. What is the 7-step process for building a courageous culture?
  5. Does an employee need to be a leader to build a Courageous Culture?

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