Star Wars’ Yoda may have been wiser in other things, but it’s safe to say he wasn’t much of an innovator or experimenter; his famous quote, “Do or do not, there is no try” is the antithesis of any innovator’s mindset. Innovation is all about trying, and somewhere along the way you’ll get to a successful “do.”
If you are in a position where your job is to come up with new creative ideas and test them out in a innovative manner, you’re almost encouraged to fail. Failure is a normal happenstance in life—you’re thrown in situations where you’re asked to try and go work with a certain possible process or hypotheses. It may take a couple of tries or a large amount of tries,until you hit upon a successful result.
The beauty of failing in innovation is that it doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. And it often inspires new ways of thinking. Nowadays, companies and other organizations of all kinds, are encouraging their people to undertake more risks and encourage failure as they seek out more and more innovation.
Innovators who fail in order to reach their successful end goal, are those who ask good questions such as: what knowledge can we extract and feed forward into the next round of searching? What can a specific failure teach us more generally? And most importantly, is there a crucial underlying idea that is still valuable, even though we failed at reaching our goal?
If you’re not answering these types of questions on the regular, then you’re failing at failing.