Innovation Allow People to Make Mistakes

Can you innovate in your company without mistakes? According to one research, I have made with 150 entrepreneurs, more than 60% of them avoid to innovate because of possible mistakes.

Yes, this is really scary statistics when it comes to small business entrepreneurs and their current mindset about the innovation in their companies. The false sense of security that brings to the current status quo and their inactivity related to innovation and business improvements makes them stay at the level of average entrepreneurs that probably will not exist after some period of time.

When I usually work with clients, I ask them a lot of questions, and I am asked by them also a lot of questions. On the other side, I want to record and note everything from my work in order to improve my experience, skills, and knowledge as a consultant. Looking at my notes I have seen some interesting questions asked from entrepreneurs and related to the innovation process. These questions are something I believe that hold them back to innovate because they create awareness that doesn’t allow mistakes through the process.

Here, I would like to present them with the additional replacement of the right question in order to change your entrepreneurial mindset to become the much better innovator.

What if my innovation will not succeed?

This is one of most frequently asked questions from an entrepreneur. Not all innovations will become the success. That’s a fact! You are allowed to make a mistake, and this question is not proper in this situation. The more important question you will need to ask yourself is when you need to make a mistake, or how you can make a mistake as quick as possible.

What about lost efforts, time and money?

The next question that entrepreneurs ask me is this one related to the possible loses with unsuccessful innovation. Even you can make a mistake it doesn’t mean that you will have unsuccessful innovation. The innovation process will continue with the new knowledge gained from mistakes and integrated in the next steps of the process. The better question you will need to ask yourself is how I can continue more strongly after mistakes, or how to integrate the knowledge and experience from the mistakes to continue with the specific innovation process.

How to innovate when my staff members are afraid to make a mistake?

This is the third question I hear most from different entrepreneurs when it comes to the innovation. This is not the innovation problem, it is more the problem of your company’s culture and lack of properly designed processes that will allow the mistakes.

You will need to put large efforts to train your staff members and talk with them in order to build strong awareness that innovation allows people to make mistakes. The better question that you will need to ask is how I can change the culture in my company to make staff members aware that they can make a mistake.

What if my customers become unhappy because of mistakes?

If you have properly designed innovation process, it will always start not with you, but with your customers, their wants, desires, and needs. The mistakes in the process will be invisible for them, normally if you learn from them and fix the mistakes. Do, the more important question is how to make your customers to be an integral part of your innovation process.

As you can see these are the wrong questions and logically wrong answers that hold you back to innovate. If you want innovation to become the normal thing in your company, you will need to allow mistakes that are an integral part of each innovation process. Don’t afraid of mistakes, afraid more if you don’t innovate and continuously improve your company.

Dragan Sutevski

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan