havas Content printed form Havas - The Download - https://download.havas.com/posts/are-you-a-fail-forward-organization-yet/
Ideas

Are You a Fail Forward Organization Yet?

Are You a Fail Forward Organization Yet?

Hari Nallan

Hari Nallan

July 25, 2019

Organizations can be innovative, agile and disruptive in the long run if they infuse the concept of failing forward into their culture, writes Think Design's Hari Nallan.

"Failing forward makes organizations innovative and ultimately successful…but never forget this: It all starts with failure!"

Adgully

By Hari Nallan

Founder and CEO, Think Design

July 25, 2019

 

I came across the concept of failing forward a few years back when I understood the several facets of Design Thinking. A decade later today, this concept is well understood across established technology companies and start-ups alike. In fact, “Fail Forward” approach is being discussed in management schools, design schools and innovative organizations alike.

There was a time when organizations committed significant investments in what they believed would succeed. They would spend in infrastructure, product development, distribution and marketing; and would take to their customers, what they believed to be their best creation…and expected it to be successful.

In short, organizations were wired for success, not failure. As a result of this, these organizations didn’t have the capability to adjust to unexpected results; and they would struggle to deliver when met with unexpected outcomes. Whereas in the last decade, we have witnessed the rise in lean and agile companies that built things quickly, economically and in a nimble way; resulting in constant iterations of failure, learning and improvement leading to disruption of businesses and ecosystems over time.

Welcome to the concept of “Failing Forward.” The disruptors that we see today around us aren’t the ones that aimed at perfect creations and conditions of success, but are the ones who took failure in their stride and constantly learned and improved their propositions to succeed continuously.

By inculcating the concept of Failing Forward, organizations can be innovative, agile and disruptive in the long run. Hence, it is of no doubt that organizations of the future have to inculcate failure as a strategic element in their DNA.

Here are 5 tips to become a Fail Forward organization:

Make failure your boardroom topic

Do not shy away from discussing failure in your board room. By making it a habit to ask each other about how they failed and their learnings from it, your key people are going to cozy up to the concept and will begin to accept it as an essential part of organizational practice. Most importantly, avoid the habit of being defensive about your failures and discuss them openly.

Allow iteration

Many a time, those who failed aren’t given a second chance to pursue their mission. This leads to the perception that failure is treated with punishment. Instead of penalizing your people for their failure, accept it as a by-product of innovation and let your people iterate, improve and succeed.

Prototype

When the bets are high, it is a very good idea to prototype instead of putting a full-blown idea into test. Prototyping gives you the chance to try your idea with minimal investments and repercussions. By inculcating the concept of prototyping in your organizational practice, you will be constantly going through the cycles of build, test, iterate and ultimately take failure in your stride as a natural outcome of trying anything new.

 

Read the full article

"Failing forward makes organizations innovative and ultimately successful…but never forget this: It all starts with failure!"

Adgully

By Hari Nallan

Founder and CEO, Think Design

July 25, 2019

 

I came across the concept of failing forward a few years back when I understood the several facets of Design Thinking. A decade later today, this concept is well understood across established technology companies and start-ups alike. In fact, “Fail Forward” approach is being discussed in management schools, design schools and innovative organizations alike.

There was a time when organizations committed significant investments in what they believed would succeed. They would spend in infrastructure, product development, distribution and marketing; and would take to their customers, what they believed to be their best creation…and expected it to be successful.

In short, organizations were wired for success, not failure. As a result of this, these organizations didn’t have the capability to adjust to unexpected results; and they would struggle to deliver when met with unexpected outcomes. Whereas in the last decade, we have witnessed the rise in lean and agile companies that built things quickly, economically and in a nimble way; resulting in constant iterations of failure, learning and improvement leading to disruption of businesses and ecosystems over time.

Welcome to the concept of “Failing Forward.” The disruptors that we see today around us aren’t the ones that aimed at perfect creations and conditions of success, but are the ones who took failure in their stride and constantly learned and improved their propositions to succeed continuously.

By inculcating the concept of Failing Forward, organizations can be innovative, agile and disruptive in the long run. Hence, it is of no doubt that organizations of the future have to inculcate failure as a strategic element in their DNA.

Here are 5 tips to become a Fail Forward organization:

Make failure your boardroom topic

Do not shy away from discussing failure in your board room. By making it a habit to ask each other about how they failed and their learnings from it, your key people are going to cozy up to the concept and will begin to accept it as an essential part of organizational practice. Most importantly, avoid the habit of being defensive about your failures and discuss them openly.

Allow iteration

Many a time, those who failed aren’t given a second chance to pursue their mission. This leads to the perception that failure is treated with punishment. Instead of penalizing your people for their failure, accept it as a by-product of innovation and let your people iterate, improve and succeed.

Prototype

When the bets are high, it is a very good idea to prototype instead of putting a full-blown idea into test. Prototyping gives you the chance to try your idea with minimal investments and repercussions. By inculcating the concept of prototyping in your organizational practice, you will be constantly going through the cycles of build, test, iterate and ultimately take failure in your stride as a natural outcome of trying anything new.

 

Read the full article

Hari’s career spans 16 years across several industries and companies ranging from multinational conglomerates to lean startups.

contact our office

Call:

Stop by:

Connect:

Cookie Settings