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Organizations are widely encouraged to learn from their failures, but it is something most find easier to espouse than to effect.

This article synthesizes the authors’ wide research in this field to offer a strategy for achieving the objective. Their framework relates technical and social barriers to three key activities e identifying failure, analyzing failure and deliberate experimentation e to develop six recommendations for action. They suggest that these be implemented as an integrated set of practices by leaders who can ‘walk the talk’ and work to shift the managerial mindset in a way that redefines failure away from its discreditable associations, and view it instead as a critical first step in a journey of discovery and learning.

Authors: Mark D. Cannon and Amy C. Edmondson

Source: PennState College of Information Sciences and Technology