The Innovation Conundrum

As business leaders, we seek growth and competitive advantage. Innovation is a key lever to help us get there.

Unfortunately, I often hear executives frame it this way: “We need more innovation across the organization. And, of course, failure is not an option.”

There is a conflict inherent in that statement.

The more innovation these leaders want, the more they need to understand that failure is likely part of the journey. In some instances, failure may actually provide the specific insights needed to attain the sought-after innovation.

My basic innovation equation looks like this:

  • if you want to innovate, you need to try new things;
  • when you try new things, some of them will work and some of them won’t;
  • the more innovation you want, the more “new things” or risk you need to incorporate; so…
  • the more innovation you want, the more failure you must also be willing to assume.

Successful entrepreneurs understand this. They know that many of the ventures they launch will fail.

Venture capitalists understand this as well. That’s why VCs create portfolios comprised of many startups knowing that, while some of their ventures will fail, those that succeed will (hopefully) deliver returns that more than make up for other losses…

Mark Coopersmith Strive MagazineThis excerpt was taken from “The Entrepreneurial Mindset” by Mark Coopersmith.

Originally published in Strive Magazine, January 2019.

Full article on Strive Magazine (below):
The Entrepreneurial Mindset by Mark Coopersmith


Like this concept? Scott Adams nailed it with this Dilbert comic.

You may also like...