Why Failing Can Be a Good Thing For Innovation

Kids & Science ExperimentSometimes, it’s okay to fail.

Why? Because the fear of failure holds back organizations from being truly innovative. But it’s not just about failure. It’s about how you handle the failure and what you learn from it. Read on to learn why failing can be a good thing and how you can fail well…

Why Failing is Good for Innovation

Without taking risks and failing here and there, you won’t be able to be truly innovative. Failing, and learning from those failures, will help you find out what works, what doesn’t, and how you can improve next time.

“If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.” – Woody Allen 

Google is an example of a company that takes risks and learns from their failures. Google launched Google AdSense and Google Answers, both new services in a territory the company had never entered before.

AdSense grew to be a multi-billion dollar business while Google Answers was retired after four years. While Google Answers didn’t do so well, Google AdSense today reaches 80 percent of global internet users and is the world’s largest ad network.

“…the moment you stop taking risks is the moment you get left behind.” – Susan Wojcicki former Google SVP of advertising and commerce, current YouTube CEO  Click to Tweet!

If Google had not taken a risk with both AdSense and Answers, they would have missed a great opportunity for success. Google would have also missed an opportunity to learn and and apply the lessons from the failure of Google Answers to the development of future products. 

The more an organization can learn from failure, the more innovation can be released.

So When is it Best to Fail?

Failure can happen at any point in the innovation cycle, and it’s bound to. However, it’s better to have failures near the beginning of the innovation cycle.

Spotting potential failures early in the process can help avoid major costs.

Failure is no longer something to be avoided and criticized, it’s something that can propel a company to future greatness.

And How Do You Fail Well?

Failures are okay – even necessary – because they bring you to think about what you can do better for future successes.

When you or your team makes a mistake, you should work quickly to resolve it. Follow these steps to ensure that you fail well…

  1. Accept the mistake
  2. Fix the mistake
  3. Learn from the mistake
  4. Figure out what you can do better in the future.

Every failure should be a learning experience and should help you to improve your organization’s innovation management process to stay at the top of the game.

Start Innovating by Encouraging Risks and Failure in Your Organization

Take the next step and begin encouraging risks and embracing failure in your organization. Work this kind of attitude into your organization’s culture. Learn how you can create a culture of innovation and how to boost innovation in your organization with 5 simple tips.

Suggested Next Steps:

Leila Durmaz

Hello, I’m your author, Leila Durmaz. I spend a lot of my time researching the best practices for innovation management, and writing articles to share them. I hope you find them helpful! I work at Accompa – one of our products is IdeaGlow innovation management software.

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