Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - Innovation and Failure


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@Brian - I think you get the very essence and opportunity of social media. People don't like to fail for two main reasons (ok, I'm being reductive): a) they don't want to look dumb (very human); b) cultural signals that say you're now in a place of disadvantage compared to your colleagues (not true of all companies). See if this resonates - we follow what the analysts say, what competitor xyz is doing... There is rarely the willingness to try the idea out for long enough to fail into success. Many entrepreneurs know this very well.

@Jeff - does the company offer coaching, support, mentoring, resources? Does it encourage collaboration? Because otherwise they're just setting people up... large endeavors are great ways to see collaboration at work, along with individual ingenuity. Did I start addressing your questions? Warm?

@Rich - I empathize with your customer, I tend to prefer rapid prototyping and field testing to too much planning ;) There's a point where speed trumps more - resources, details, planning, etc. Experience is being able to say "when".


Valuable insights that will surely help people temper what they "plan" to do. One of my clients always hounds me, believing that I am often inclined to allow perfection to stand in the way of progress.

Certainly there is a balance. Personally, I love #3 because the challenge of small budget often leads to better ideas. It's one of the reasons I've become passionate working with nonprofit organizations. They help keep you honest, whether they have a small budget or force you to invent one by rounding up the generosity of others.

All my best,

First of all, I LOVED this post Valeria..LOVED it.

Second of all I would love to hear your take on company cultures where it is encouraged to take on something enormous as a method for getting "the best" out of people, even if the outcome isn't achieved. Some organizations use this as a way to grow their people by having them struggle with what they said they'd do and what they actually do.

I loved your point about placing bets on smart people. It's the old saying "if you've got a good horse, run him." The question is, often at what point is someone trusted as "smart" to the extent that leadership would put faith in that person's decision. First year associates may be brilliant but how would they be able to enroll the existing leadership, convinced that their ideas are the right way to do things?

Thanks for putting together such a great article. I'm going to spread this one.

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