The trick is knowing the difference.
- A failure is when you set out to do something and it doesn’t work.
- An experiment is when you decide to learn if/how something works. A good or bad outcome is fine, as long as you learn what you set out to learn.
You can’t innovate if you don’t experiment. You want your team to be comfortable testing and trying new things. It’s the only way to make your company better.
You’ll kill innovation if you treat experiments like failures. No one will ever take the initiative to improve something if a went-nowhere experiment is punished. You need to respond to an experiment with a negative outcome as a great learning success — you learned what doesn’t work!
Start working this simple lesson into your management vocabulary and you’ll unleash the creative energy that your team has been hiding from you.