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New publication: Failure-Driven Innovation

Failure-Driven Innovation, a new book published by artop – Affiliate Institute of the Humboldt-Universität of Berlin, puts failure at the center stage for understanding successful innovation. The publication summarizes the authors findings on 122 pages and opens our eyes to the potential behind often invisible drivers of the success that can follow instructive failure.

Management research in general and innovation research in particular are obsessed with success. Learning from success stories or cases is at the core of most research projects and almost all of our teaching. Entrepreneurs, leaders of established organizations, government policymakers, foundation boards and others also focus almost exclusively on achieving success by building on success. Yet we all know from experience what a good teacher failure can be. As children we often want more than we are given or can easily achieve. We must explore, experiment and test what works; it is inevitable that we learn most from what does not work so that we can try again.

Failure is of course recognized in practice and research, but among grownups it is typically seen as a necessary but uninteresting precursor to what really matters: successfully bringing something new to market. The prescriptive advice to would be innovators is to tolerate failure: ‘do not give up, get up and try again.’ Policy makers, award givers, and society are urged not to stigmatize the loser because big winners often fail first.

Failure-driven innovation emerged from the work of a five member team who were among 50 research fellows working under the roof of an initiative titled “Leadership for Innovation: Visualizing the Invisible” supported by the Peter Pribilla Foundation. The great “Failure Team” reporting in this volume includes Allen Alexander, Olivier Berthod, Sebastian Kunert, Torsten Oliver Salge and Anne L. Washington. The compendium has a modular structure and offers five different perspectives on the phenomenon, each beginning with a review of an important literature for understanding how innovations are achieved.

Failure-Driven Innovation

2015, printed on 122 pages
ISBN: 978-3-9816623-1-3
Price: 19,00 €

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