Think about a time when you felt the awe of discovery. What were you doing? How was this experience created? For some of us, the awe of discovery was most prevalent when we were children. I remember springtime on my family farm. The trees were budding out, flowers were emerging and soon the floor of the woods would be a magical purple and pink carpet. I felt alive and curious. My imagination was running wild with all the things I could create and do. However, my sense of awe and discovery has changed considerably as I have aged. Yet, our universities and workplaces need to create space for new ways of working, new discoveries on a regular basis. How do you as leaders create that space; an environment where discovery and experimentation are the norm? magnifying_glass_search11 Acknowledge talents and contributions – Take the time to watch the contributions of your employees. What strengths are team members utilizing? What new talents are emerging? Reinforce the development of talent. Also look at positioning employees in spaces where they can contribute and grow their talents. This may mean moving employees into cross-institutional teams or out of a unit where they were hired. Build a positive workplace – A great way to kill the awe of discovery is through micro-management and negativity. We each have a choice as to how we envision our world. It is the old “half-full” or “half-empty” scenario. I choose to frame that cup as overflowing! How do you bring humor into the workplace? How do you role model enjoyment in the workplace Reward experimentation – Interestingly, in higher education our need to be experts sometimes gets in the way of experimentation. Try creating projects that give teams the opportunity to experiment, and sometimes fail. Take those failures as learning opportunities and do not punish when the desired results are not achieved. This learning will stimulate more experimentation. Experimentation will not happen if employees are fearful of not achieving necessary outcomes. Identify one important problem in your workplace where the solution is not obvious. Create a team to work on solving the issue. Coach and provide feedback but most of all give the team space to experiment. See what happens. Learn and ask how can we develop better solutions through experimentation? Watch the awe of discovery emerge!