To persuade the 9,000 employees at Extended Stay America to start taking risks, CEO Jim Donald issued all of them a Monopoly-style "Get Out of Jail, Free" card. Anyone who took a big risk on the company's behalf could cash in their card to avoid repercussions if things went wrong, he explained. That's spurred many managers to try out ideas -- some good, some bad -- and to generate business along the way.

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