Failure as a Primary Vehicle for Success
there is no failure, only
"If you give people freedom to
innovate, the freedom to
experiment, the freedom to
succeed, then you must also give them the
According to Deepak Seethi of AT&T, the organization of tomorrow
will demand mistakes and failures. It is only by trying lots of initiatives
that we can improve our chances that one of them will be a star."6
Failure provides a great
learning opportunity and should be
viewed as a very lifeblood of success.
"Although most people hate to be
labeled a failure and love to be labeled a
success, it is only through seeming failure that most of life's greatest
successes are achieved. Usually, "failure" or "success" is almost entirely
in the eye of the beholder... Failure is very often a misperception about
the difference between what exists and goes unnoticed (such as growth and
learning when we fall short of reaching a goal)
and what is realized later (longer term success)."5
How To Prevent
10 Commandments of Innovation
Failure is not an accident – it's the result of
interactions in a system. It has structure and sequence.
12 Major Causes of Failure in Leadership
Why Change Fails: 8 Common Errors
teaches you to
habitually take a
systemic view of things
– to look
at the different elements in a situation as parts of a system which
functions for good or ill. This system involves people and a sequence of
events, thoughts, feelings, actions and interactions. "Once you understand
how the system is working – for or against you – you have a means of
structuring things differently in the future, so you can avoid 'failure'
Case in Point
Failed in business in '31. Defeated for the
legislature in '32. Again failed in business in '34. Sweetheart died in '35.
Had a nervous breakdown in '36. Defeated in election in '38. Defeated for
Congress in '43. Defeated for Congress in '46. Defeated for Congress in '48.
Defeated for Senate in '55. Defeated for Vice President in '56. Defeated for
Senate in '58. Elected President in '60... This man was Abraham Lincoln.
Inspirational Business Plan:
"I have not failed 700 times. I have not
failed once. I have succeeded in proving those 700 ways will not work.
When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way
that will work."
Be Different and Make a Difference!
Case in Point
"In the 1950s the Jacuzzi brothers invented a whirlpool bath
to treat people with arthritis. Although the product worked, it was a sales
flop. Very few people in the target market, sufferers from arthritis, could
afford the expensive bath. So the idea languished until they tried
relaunching the same product for a different market
– as a luxury item for
the wealthy. It became a big success."6
Differentiate Between Noble Failure and
David Pottruck, a former CEO of
Charles Schwab, says:
"The idea that failure is okay is ridiculous. I am not going to go around
the company and reward someone for failing. But here at Schwab we
differentiate between noble failure and stupid failure."1...
The Jazz of Innovation: 11 Practice Tips
Case in Point
Many costly Microsoft product failures provided the learning
and opportunity for development of many of Microsoft's biggest successes.
Many apparently wasted years working on a failed database
called Omega resulted in the development of the most popular desktop
database, Microsoft Access.
Millions of dollars and countless hours invested in a
joint operating system project with IBM that was discontinued led to the
operating system Windows NT.
A failed multiplan spreadsheet that made little headway
against Lotus 1-2-3 provided learning that helped in the development of
Microsoft Excel, an advanced graphic spreadsheet that leads the
Steve Jobs' 12 Rules of Success
from failures. Sometimes when you innovate, you make
mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving
your other innovations...
3 Strategies of Market Leaders
The Art of Innovation: 9 Truths
By: Guy Kawasaki
Don't worry, be crappy.
An innovator doesn't worry about shipping an innovative
elements of crappiness if it's truly innovative. The first
permutation of a innovation is seldom perfect – Macintosh, for
example, didn't have software (thanks to me), a hard disk (it
wouldn't matter with no software anyway), slots, and color. If a
company waits – for example, the engineers convince management to
add more features – until everything is perfect, it will never ship,
and the market will pass it by...
Case in Point
innovation is all
taking risks and learning from failure," writes
Michael Dell7, the Founder & CEO of
Dell Inc. "Today, we're well known for inventory
management, logistics, supply chain management, and such, but that wasn't
always the case. Back in 1989, we had a very large disaster – large, at
least, for the small company we were at the time. The personal computer
industry was making the transition to a new type of memory chip, and we
found ourselves stuck with far too many of the old kind. That was a costly
mistake, and it took us about a year to recover, but we learned from it. The
failure led us to develop a new way to manage inventory, and we went from
being last place in the minor leagues to where we now win the World Series
Declaring Independence from Negative Thinking:
By: Stephen Kraus
Why Businesses Fail...
Turning Failures To Opportunities...
Pursuing Opportunities Faster than
Freedom To Fail...
Creative Problem Solving...