One of my favorite movie scenes is from Apollo 13 when NASA engineers are asked to fit a square filter in a round hole, using anything available in the lunar module, but nothing more. Putting some limits or restrictions on a project can spark creativity.
On the other hand, too many restrictions can kill creativity. Eventually, the goal becomes unachievable. Employees are often placed in situations where they must perform despite too many financial, quality, safety and ethical rules. In those situations, we often see them break any of these rules except for the financial ones.
Why do they choose to meet financial goals over others? Probably because they’ve seen examples of colleagues being let go for not making the numbers, and because they have rarely seen examples of colleagues being rewarded for upholding ethical standards at the cost of losing business.
What will it take for your employees to choose to uphold ethical, quality and safety standards over financial goals?