I facilitated an Inner Circle discussion in London last week. The title was: Tradition Meets Disruption: What's possible when market leaders and market innovators mix it up?
The intention was that we would consider how companies--especially global corporations--encourage (or, often discourage) innovation. How do they integrate the eager, innovative types into an organization that is self-satisfied and not eager for change?
We quickly got into the subject of how failure figures into innovation. Some companies are afraid of it and start a blame game when things go wrong, starting a witch hunt to find out who is responsible for the fact that things didn't turn out well, often resulting in someone being fired. Other companies see failure as an integral and necessary part of the innovation game. In some rare companies, they even celebrate failure. Someone told our group of Tata, the Korean company, which annually bestows the Chairman's Award for Failure to the person who led the most interesting and valuable failure, the one from which they learned the most.
This morning, someone who heard me talk about this terrific Inner Circle exchange, sent me this YouTube video created by Honda on the subject of failure. It's sure to start some conversation around here about failure and how to turn it into the positive it needs to be. Check it out here