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4 reasons why failing forward is still a tool for innovation success

June 21, 2018

Innovation Factory

The entrepreneurs at Silicon Valley have long recognised that the process of failing quickly to learn quickly is a stepping stone to success, thus creating a culture of failing forward. In the fast-paced startup world, failure is a critical part of workplace culture, in the belief that failing fast means innovating faster.

This idea is not new, even to large, established organisations, but reports show that the fear of failure in business continues to increase, particularly among the millennial generation. Many companies still have an aversion to risk, holding them back from competing in a digital environment.

The benefits of failing forward

By including feedback loops and iterations as a key part of creating success, those who embrace failure are able to learn and discover from their mistakes. After all, the faster companies see what doesn’t work, the sooner they can achieve better results. Other benefits include:

1. A more creative environment
A fear of failure can limit creativity and discourage individuals from contributing their ideas or trying something new. Incorporating risk tolerance in an organisation helps to create an openness to share ideas that could have huge potential.

2. Adaptability
Through an experimental creative process that allows for failure, organisations become better equipped to adapt to the needs of a fast-changing market. This constant assessment and improvements ensures they remain competitive.

3. Market differentiation
Not only does the maxim ‘fail fast, fail often’ allow products and services to reach the market quicker, the feedback from the consumer enables businesses to produce something unique that meets their needs, setting them apart from the competition.

4. Resilience
Embracing failure equips organisations with the ability to bounce back from setbacks and move forward quickly. To do so successfully, it is important to always have a plan in place to find a new route sooner.

Of course, failing isn’t something any business should aim for, and there are risks. However, an openness to failure, with a realistic approach, good planning and a fine-tuned strategy in place, will allow companies to reap the benefits of failing forward in the fast-paced world of business.

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