image WE’VE ALL HEARD THE saying “No one ever got fired for buying IBM.” This expression is indicative of a troubling mindset in business: Safe decisions mean job security. The problem is that safe decisions are not necessarily conducive to innovation. Luckily, more and more businesses are encouraging employees to experiment and embrace smart risks.

For example, in 2014 PepsiCo—the parent company for over a dozen well-known chip brands—decided to launch a high-stakes experiment with its Ruffles brand, opting to spend nearly 100 percent of its ad budget on digital.1 In 2013, less than 30 percent of the brand’s ad spending had ...

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