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Are you failing enough?

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

Are you responsible for leading teams?

Do you and your teams ever fail?

If not, does that make you proud?

If it does make you proud then think again.

“If you don't fail, you're not even trying.” - Denzel Washington

Failure goes hand in hand with creativity and innovation. It’s not enough to focus just on continuous improvement, we also need radical change.

“Continuous improvement isn’t nearly as important as discontinuous improvement” - Russell Ackoff

Blockbuster video is a famous example of this. They went bankrupt as a result of only renting out physical DVDs rather than adapting their business to stream movies and TV shows online.

Creativity and innovation sometimes succeed and often lead to failure. Failure is valuable, we can learn from it.

When creating a rust-prevention solvent and degreaser for the aerospace industry in 1953, the Rocket Chemical Company successfully found the water displacement formula on their 40th try after failing 39 times. They called it WD-40.

Sometimes, when we innovate we create something that’s not useful to us but will help others.

In 1960, engineers Marc Chavannes and Al Fielding created bubble wrap. They created it to be a trendy new textured wallpaper. This failed and it looked like bubble wrap had no purpose until IBM used it to package a newly launched computer. Bubble wrap became an overnight success.

So when was the last time you and your teams failed and what did you learn?

If you and your teams aren’t learning from innovation, creativity and failure then I ask you this:

If you knew that increasing innovation, creativity and failure will lead to valuable learning, what would you do?

I’ve increased creativity and innovation in many teams and helped them celebrate and learn from failure. Get in touch and let me know what help I can give you to generate this learning environment?

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