“In the innovation game, which is a risky game, more at bats leads to more hits... We’re running a continual tryout camp... (And, in response to a query about the failure rate of approximately 50% of new product prototypes) Innovation is that kind of a game... What we are trying to do is improve our success rate. And, what we are also trying to do is fail earlier, fail faster, and reallocate the resources from the failures so we can put the money against innovations that have a chance to become a commercial success.” (5.19.08, WNYC, Marketplace)
“...we are also trying to do is fail earlier, fail faster, and reallocate the resources from the failures..." Words to live by! I love it!
These ideas formed the foundation for a conversation with one of the participants in my class last week. During a break in the videotaping of people’s training sessions, he and I were talking about learners taking risks - trying new and different techniques in the delivery of their sessions. He wondered why he and others didn’t really push the envelope. We reflected on my suggestion at the beginning of the course that everyone take a risk because the setting is a safe environment, one where learners can choose to be bold and daring... and we know that work environments are not always so supportive. I offered these thoughts to the discussion, not excuses more realities:
- we didn’t know people’s baseline behaviors and therefore maybe we were witnessing risks of greater proportions than we realized
- anxiety (re: training delivery) often inhibits learners’ feelings of confidence to take on new challenges and narrows vision/what they believe to be possible
- “failing forward” or learning from one’s mistakes is understood conceptually yet rarely embraced in practice.
Here’s an addition to Lafley’s idea, “Fail earlier, fail faster, fail forward.”
What do you think?
I’ll be taking a look at The Game Changer by AG Lafley, for more interesting ideas.