October 10, 2018

By Dan Hammond, Chief Disruption Officer, LIW

Fostering innovation requires a culture where failure is tolerated, right?  Well, maybe not.

Research by LIW and the London School of Economics has shown that there is no link between tolerance of failure and innovation.  What teams do require is senior leadership support and a culture of learning.

This rings true: we find companies struggling to accept failure when in fact they want to succeed. Also, ‘failure’ in building software can be quite different from failure in developing drugs or building bridges.

What does this mean for leadership?

Teams need to ‘learn fast’, not ‘fail fast’: they should use experiments to learn quickly and constantly improve in the eyes of their customers.

This bleet was iterated by a small team three times.  That wasn’t failure on my part, it was learning.

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