I believe I have written a few times about the culture and the concept of failure in today’s companies. Anytime I see a quote that reinforces that failure is part of process, I am inspired to revisit the topic.
“If I find 10,000 ways something won’t work, I haven’t failed,” Edison once said. “I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is often a step forward.”
Failure is just a step in the process of innovation. No fine print or disclaimers, it’s part of the process. The sooner you get your business culture to accept and understand that, the sooner you’re on the path to truly innovating.
A key point here is that the failure has to be in the context of a business issue. Something that’s relevant and that if successful actually brings value to the company.
It requires a separate post to get into the metrics that should be associated with enabling failure within an innovative organization, but at a high-level keeping keeping track of the number of iterations and number of successes is the first step.
Failure is not a four letter word, it’s not negative it’s not counterproductive. It’s a concept that often stands in the way of people thinking outside the box or taking a prudent risk. Top down support and communication that failure is part of the process is a way to truly enable and tap into the doorman creative elements of your organization.
Dismount from soapbox here…