Fail, fail again, and innovate

Creativity and innovation won’t flourish where failure is discouraged or punished. Just watch children, says childhood development expert, Joseph Chiltern Pearce, observing that “to live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong”.  Fine for kids, less acceptable when the stakes are high and very public. Brené Brown, a research professor in social work and expert on human connection, says a deep aversion to vulnerability has created a culture based on fear, shame and scarcity, which is replicated in much of the corporate domain but absent from the world views of successful entrepreneurs. “Without vulnerability, there’s no love, joy, gratitude, inspiration, belonging, creativity or innovation,” she told a Sydney audience this week. “Authenticity is a choice – the willingness, the courage, to let yourself ‘be seen’.” Leadership modelling is critical, adds George Everly Junior, Executive Director of the Resiliency Science Institute. Such leaders “have the ability to ‘tip’ the organisation in the direction of resilience and to serve as a catalyst to increase group cohesion and dedication to the ‘mission’,” he says. Among the numerous payoffs: “Resilient organisations are innovative in times of adversity.”


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