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12 Keys to an Unstoppable Team

Make Mistakes & Fail Forward


{{expand}}Risk-taking and mistake-making are a necessary part of the journey to innovation. But we usually assume that mistakes are to be avoided, and failure tends to be surrounded by blame and shame. Rather than playing the blame game, a much healthier and more empowering view is that mistakes are stepping stones towards the goal. At HP Labs, one innovative team’s guiding credo was “Build a tall junk pile!” Fail fast, fail forward, using feedback to learn and improve along the way. In order to encourage appropriate risks, I require people on my team to make at least 3 mistakes a day – new and more exciting mistakes, of course, not the same ones over and over again.