Innovation Management:

Inspiring People

Freedom to Fail

The Highway to Success






"Real motivation comes from within. People have to be given the freedom to succeed or fail."

~ Gordon Forward

"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all."

~ Oscar Wilde

"Don’t be afraid to make a mistake. But make sure you don’t make the same mistake twice." 

~ Akio Morita


9 Signs of a Losing Organization

  • Discouraging Culture: lack of trust; blame culture; focus on problems, not opportunities; diversity is not celebrated; failures are not tolerated... More

Failure as a Stepping Stone To Success: There is no failure - only feedback

The Jazz of Innovation

11 Practice Tips

  1. Allow freedom to fail. Failure provides a great learning opportunity and should be viewed as a very lifeblood of success. Learn from failures, regroup, and start again more intelligently... More

The JAZZ of INNOVATION (Ten3 Mini-course)


Developing The Fast-Paced Flexible Culture

By: Michael Dell

  • Encourage people to take risk. Do your best to make sure that people aren't afraid of the possibility of failure, do a lot of experiments and learn from failures... More

Inspirational Leadership

10 Roles


Innovation Quotes

  • I have not failed 700 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work. ~ Thomas Edison... More

5 Strategies for Creating a Culture for Innovation

Customer-driven Innovation

7 Practice Tips

  • Involve everyone, require every person, regardless of their position, to spend time on customer contact and services activities. Ask all your employee to get on board with customer-driven innovation. Encourage experimentation and risk taking... More

Turning Failures To Opportunities

3 Steps

  • Get rid of all negative emotions – and lean: There is no failure, only feedback!... More

Liberate Employees from the Fear of Trying New Things

Guiding Principles

  • Take risks. Don't play it safe

  • Make mistakes. Don't try to avoid them... More

Innovation Practice Tips


  • Break rules and "fail forward" so that change is part of the culture, and little setback is experienced... More

29 Obstacles To Innovation

  • Risk aversion (i.e. punishment for "failure")... More


Failure as a Primary Vehicle for Success

Freedom to fail means a freedom to explore, venture, experiment and succeed in uncharted territory.

Failure provides a great learning opportunity and should be viewed as a very lifeblood of success. "If you give people freedom to innovate, the freedom to experiment, the freedom to succeed, then you must also give them the freedom to fail. According to Deepak Seethi of AT&T, the organization of tomorrow will demand mistakes and failures. It is only by trying lots of initiatives that we can improve our chances that one of them will be a star."2

Failure as a Stepping Stone To Success

Noble Failure vs. Stupid Failure

Charles Schwab is a world's leading financial services firm. The company revolutionized the way stocks are bought and sold. David Pottruck, a former CEO of Charles Schwab, says: "The idea that failure is okay is ridiculous. I am not going to go around the company and reward someone for failing. But here at Schwab we differentiate between noble failure and stupid failure."

The more you fail, the more you succeed. You learn from taking action, from your mistakes, from feedback, from getting going.

As Alfred P. Sloan, the man who made General Motors the largest and most successful and profitable industrial enterprise in the world, puts it: "Life itself is a process of trial and error... And those people who make no mistakes are those who make nothing."

All you do by not letting your people fail is postpone the growth of your business. Why? Because:

"Success comes from good judgment
Good judgment comes from experience
And experience, often, comes from bad judgment!"

– Tony Robbins



How To Prevent Innovation (Humorous Tips)

  • Don't give your people freedom to fail... More

Inspiring Corporate Culture: 5 Elements

Inspirational Business Plan: Successful Innovation

Brief History: "I have not failed 700 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work." Thomas Edison... More

Balanced Organization: 5 Basic Elements

Empowered Employees (Metal):

  • Innovators have freedom to experiment, fail, and begin again more intelligently... More

Innovation-friendly Organization

 Case in Point  Silicon Valley

What makes Silicon Valley so successful as the engine of high-tech growth is the Darwinian process of failure. Commentator and author Mike Malone puts it like this, 'Outsiders think of Silicon Valley as a success, but it is, in truth, a graveyard. Failure is Silicon Valley's greatest strength. Every failed product or enterprise is a lesson stored in the collective memory. We don't stigmatize failure, we admire it. Venture Capitalists like to see a little failure in the résumés of entrepreneurs.'2

3 Strategies of Market Leaders

 Case in Point  Wall-Mart

In his 10 Rules for Building a Successful Business, Sam Walton, the Founder of Wall-Mart writes: "Find some humor in your failures. Don't take yourself so seriously. Loosen up, and everybody around you will loosen up. Have fun. Show enthusiasm always. When all else fails, put on a costume and sing a silly song. Then make everybody else sing with you.

Don't do a hula on Wall Street. It's been done. Think up your own stunt. All of this is more important, and more fun, than you think, and it really fools competition. "Why should we take those cornballs at Wal-Mart seriously?"... More

 Case in Point  Google

Sheryl Sandberg, a vice president in charge of the company's automated advertising system committed an error that cost Google several million dollars. When she realized the magnitude of her mistake, she went to inform Larry Page, Google's co-founder and unofficial thought leader. "God, I feel really bad about this,"

Sandberg told Page, who accepted her apology. But as she turned to leave, Page said, "I'm so glad you made this mistake, because I want to run a company where we are moving too quickly and doing too much, not being too cautious and doing too little. If we don't have any of these mistakes, we're just not taking enough risk." ... More

  Inspiring People: 4 Strategies

Creating a Culture for Innovation

By: Soren Kaplan

Once existing informal communications are understood, it becomes possible to identify opportunities for reinforcing positive messages and overcoming those that impede innovation. This includes creating new stories, symbols and rituals that establish a fresh dialog and that promote values, norms and assumptions more consistent with a culture of innovation. For example, one company interested in addressing a serious deficiency in risk taking established a “Golden Turkey Award” that was given quarterly, with a light-hearted yet serious spirit, to the individual or team with the greatest “innovation failure.” Given publicly by the CEO, the award became a symbol of the importance of accepting and proactively learning from failure as an essential element of the innovation process... More

The JAZZ of INNOVATION (Ten3 Mini-course)


Principles for Driving Growth Through Innovation...

Diverse Routes to Innovation...

Leading Innovation...

Five Steps to Powerful Team Building...

The Power of Taking a Different View...

Entrepreneurial Action - the Engine of Innovation...

 Case in Point  Coca-Cola...

 Case in Point  Dell Computer Corporation...

 Case in Point  Charles Schwab...

 Case in Point  "Golden Turkey" Award...

 Case in Point  Innovarsity...

 Case in Point  VVV1...

 Case in Point  Fun4Biz...





  1. "The Power of Failure", Charles C. Manz

  2. "Lateral Thinking Skills", Paul Sloane

  3. "Fall in Love With Your Company", Jim Harris

  4. "Inspiring Innovation", Ellen Peebles, Harvard Business Review on The Innovative Enterprise

  5. "Extreme Management", Mark Stevens

  6. "Coaching and Failure," Richard Winfield, Brefi Group Limited




The Jazz of Innovation





Managing Radical Innovation

The Jazz of Innovation


Feedback Is Your Elevator To Success

Entrepreneurial Creativity

Keeping Eyes Open for Inspiration

The Jazz of Innovation: 11 Practicing Tips

Stupid Failure vs. Noble Failure

Turn Failures Into Success

Turning Failures To Opportunities

Innovation-friendly Organization

How To Transform Your Business Into an Innovative Culture

Corporate Culture

6 Barriers To Creativity and Innovation

Failure Quotes

20 Great Failure Quotes

Freedom To Fail Quotes

Dealing With Failure Quotes