3 Characteristics of Successful Failures

For innovation leaders, it is vital to learn how to turn failures into successes. Innovation is all about seeing opportunities others don’t see and seizing them. Successful failures lead to successful innovations.

Successful Failures

The Importance of Failure

The experimentation phase is within the innovation process, often full of failures. These failures are not always negative. When things don’t go as planned, failures allow us to see what needs change. Successful innovations require risk and a capacity for productive failures, which reveal something new about the problem you are trying to solve. To experience productive failure, you have to fail successfully. Three characteristics help you figure out if your failures are successful.

Three Characteristics of Successful Failures

  1. Effort: Innovators must have a strong sense of commitment even when others give up hope. Ask yourself this question, “did you put your 100% best effort into a project”?. If so, you are one step closer to a productive failure.
  2. Perspective: Reflect on what happened during each failure, learn from it, and apply what you learned to future innovations. Ask yourself, “what does the experience teach you about what works and what doesn’t”?
  3. Inspiration: Failure from experiments might lead to lessons about the nature of the problem, inspiring better solutions. They can also teach us something about how we think. Through failures, you can learn how to solve problems better. Ask this question, “Does this new understanding inspire a new understanding that wasn’t there before?”

To know more about these characteristics, listen to this week's show: 3 Characteristics of Successful Failures.

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