Managing the perks and pitfalls of proactive people

Lotte Glaser, Eva de Mol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Companies need proactive employees. They are essential for suggesting, developing, and sustaining innovative new projects and for helping companies stay competitive. But organizations must make sure that proactive employees know the types of risks to take and those to avoid. On the one hand, top managers need to provide autonomy so that middle managers feel comfortable taking initiative. On the other hand, top managers must prevent middle managers from taking on too much risk, which can lead to negative performance outcomes. A study shows that managers can guide proactive behavior so that good ideas make it to the finish line. Creating an open dialogue about goals, offering guidance, and keeping the trial-and-error process in line with the company’s strategy can go a long way.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHarvard Business Review
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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