Why IT innovation follows failure

Sharon Florentine

That approach means opening yourself and your organization to the possibility of getting it wrong, and that's OK. Every successful and innovative organization makes missteps; it's a matter of understanding how that failure fits into the larger, longer-term strategy.

"Failure shouldn't be a dirty word. You have to be iterative and have the culture and the leadership to say, 'We aren't going to get everything right.' Your vision as a leader has to be encompassing of failure as a minor setback in the larger pursuit of success," and your job is to reassure your teams and your organization that failure is not the end of the world, it's an opportunity to learn and grow, says Crater.

And if you aren't creating that kind of culture or fostering failure in your organization, then be prepared to be left behind.

"If you aren't actively working toward continuing or ramping up to be an innovative organization, if you aren't creating the kind of culture where people have the time, energy and the resources to try new things and fail at them, then you're not going to be successful. The culture is at the heart of it; anything else is just excuses," Crater says.

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