It is my long time belief that failure matters. You cannot be a great success or even a modest success without the lessons learned from experience. Most of experience is called that because it is usually something that did not work and failure is too harsh a word.
We tend not to notice the experience of success and learn little from things going as expected. As my late client Jim Knight has said, “I never learned a thing being right.”
Jeff Bazos of Amazon fame, speaking on innovation, pointed out that innovation must be customer-centric. New ways are not necessarily better ways. Innovation for the sake of innovating may not work. The key is to innovate and assess.
Not all innovation involves technology. If the innovation enhances the customer experience then it is worthy. If it does not then it is not.
He further points out that innovation is failure prone. When assessed against customer experience, little innovation actually works. People who do not like failure, tend to not assess or tend to disbelieve the assessment.
If the innovator remains in the customer-centric mode and believes what the customers tell him, there will be many failures and there will resets and restarts as more is known.
The Bezos philosophy is simple.
To invent and to fail are one and the same, you cannot have one without the other.
Look at your own business, job or life. You cannot be both failure averse and growing through innovation. You must pick one or the other.
Don Shaughnessy arranges life insurance for people who understand the value of a life insured estate. He can be reached at The Protectors Group, a large insurance, employee benefits, and investment agency in Peterborough, Ontario. In previous careers, he has been a partner in a large international public accounting firm, CEO of a software start-up, a partner in an energy management system importer, and briefly in the restaurant business.
Please be in touch if I can help you. firstname.lastname@example.org 866-285-777