Kathy Sierra describes how risk aversion is the leading killer of great ideas. This is a great read that can be applied pretty broadly to just about anywhere you might work, especially if where you work has a manager or two. A snippet:
Risk-aversion is the single biggest innovation killer, and of course it's not just Microsoft that's been infected. Taking risks is... risky. But if not taking risks is even riskier, then WTF?Link (via Addicted to Digital Life)
So add one more skill to our carreer advice for young people: be willing to take risks! Perhaps more importantly, be willing to tolerate (and perhaps even encourage) risk-taking in those who are managed by you.
But can anything be done about all the spirit-squashing risk-aversion? Recognition is the first step.