There are two types of business mindsets says Baba Shiv for the Stanford Graduate School of Business – one type sees failure as shameful and one type sees failure as an opportunity. It is those who see failure as an opportunity that drive business forward and who really find success.
The key to innovation then becomes to instill a culture where failure is seen as progress, not defeat. Shiv gives two ideas for how you (and your employees) can move from type 1 to type 2:
1. Use rapid prototyping – by quickly brainstorming and creating models, not only does the brain begin to see ideas as concrete, but it adjusts to failure (not every model is going to work right away)
2. Use desperation – cutting resources forces employees to be creative (and as Shiv points out, “necessity is the mother of invention”); this may be extreme for some and genius for others
Whether each solution is particularly helpful will be company specific, but the important ideas remain the same. The only way to move forward is to see failure as productive and not destructive. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
Related: The Art of Admitting Failure