Innovation Starts with Failure within the Correct Environment

The Silicon Valley mantra "fail often, fail fast" invigorates our entrepreneur souls as these well communicated success stories suggests that risk taking pays off big! As a TrepExec we understand the formula for success as demonstrated in these established startup communities like Silicon Valley and Boulder, CO. Before we blindly motivate our company's resources to take risk and fail often we must learn from these successful communities of why they succeed through failing and risk taking. We can learn from the following four core components and focus on these areas within our organizations:

  • Having the right talent
  • Diversity within the teams
  • Density of knowledge
  • Learn by doing

Having the right talent is the most important trait that can be linked to successful innovative organizations and successful startup communities. Talented engineers and business leaders visualize the solutions so clear in their minds that they understand how to define the right risks to take. A "failure" to this pool of resources are logical steps within their process of delivering that solution. Without talent driving your organization's innovation factory risk taking equals failures that lead to business decline and mediocracy.

Diversity within the teams creates a well structured environment geared for success. Cultural diversity develops the 360 degree viewpoint on all components being developed within our teams. Individuals from different countries bring to the table different learnings, different ways to solve problems because of their unique political and economic environmental situations, diverse educational systems, and the local markets they come from. Successful companies attract top diverse talent!

Density of knowledge is a key component of maximizing idea generation. Both successful companies and startup communities benefit from strong local ecosystems. Great minds tend to pool together and where there are great minds there are innovative ecosystems. A successful TrepExec recognizes that in order to successfully create that innovation factory they must be located where there are a large density of diverse talents.

Learn by doing is the last major component, and the most important. Once you have the company benefiting from a community with dense and diverse talents, then empowering these highly visionary teams to take risk and develop new products for the business becomes essential. These teams define iterative steps in their development lifecycle that allows them to learn by doing and take the risk that will cause them to fail fast. But only try this once you have successfully modeled these four major components.

It is very critical for us to examine our own organizational cultures to understand how these components create the successful innovation factory necessary to grow our businesses. How many of these components do you leverage within your innovation factory?

Keith R. Szewczyk

Global High Tech Executive, GM, Entrepreneurial Leader – Strategic Vision, Process Improvement, P&L, PLM, Sales Growth