innovation failure

Here I put the case that Innovation Failure is not good.

Innovators should all be failing as fast as they can, shouldn’t they? This is something that we hear all the time. We are told that failure is good, we must fail faster!

Today I listened to a thought provoking talk by the amazing Samuel West from the Museum Of Failure. Go and visit the website and Sam’s profile on LinkedIn to find out more.

Some thoughts that rushed through my head and found their way onto my notepad:

What actually is success? What is failure?

Is fear of failure justified?

Innovation ‘gurus’ often tell us we should fail and fail fast. But why? Sam makes the point that we have not yet reached the potential for learning from failure. A remark from the great Charles handy here ‘guru is simply an American word for charlatan’.

However, it would seem that simply failing fast so that we can get to success more quickly might not be such a good idea.

I shall try to explain a little more.

There is a school of thought that says we are all going to fail sometimes so the more, or faster we fail the faster we get to the successes. This has led to some spectacular (and expensive) failures.

The thing is, although it is ok to fail, we should not be encouraging it as a path to success. The point that I am trying to make is that we should be trying to reduce these expensive or timewasting episodes and we have not yet learned the lessons that we need to learn. It would thus seem that we need to learn more from the failures that we do encounter rather than thinking of increasing numbers of failures as success.

If you need a little help in creating Innovation success, rather than failure then you can see how to get started, measure your innovation potential or have a look at some free resources to use.

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