We Cannot be Allergic to Failure and Still be Innovative – @windspike

Who is on the show today:

In today’s episode, we have Aaron Anderson. He is currently, Director of Strategic Organizational Initiatives at San Francisco State University, College of Business.

Why is he on the show

Aaron has been a consistent contributor to the Managament Innovation Exchange and won a MIX Prize for an experiment that he has been running in how he works. 

His entry titled: “Working in Plain View: Using a Wiki & Social Media to broadcast as you work” won the prize in the “Digital Freedom Challenge”.

He has been working in plain view of all his organization by using a wiki and other open tools that allows him to work in ways that we have not seen yet.

Lessons from his experiment:

There are some very interesting learnings from this award winning experiment:

  • Lead: It is better to start something rather than wait for approval. Aaron did not create a powerpoint presentation and send it out to his bosses seeking approval for his idea. He went ahead and did what he believed in. True, that he got his fingers burnt a couple of times, however, he learnt from his experiences and continued to improve the effectiveness of the experiment.
  • Learn: It is critical to continue to learn and adapt the experiment to incorporate your learning.
  • Leverage: There are so many tools that are available for teams to use in order to work much more effectively together.
  • Courage: We cant remain allergic to failure and expect innovation in our organizations.
  • Openness: We now live in an era where openness is becoming a key to success and come to be expected as well. Whether it is Tesla opening up all their patents or working in plain view so that people around him can actually catch his mistakes much faster and earlier than when it becomes a much more costlier mistake and much more difficult to correct. Such transparency is not only good by itself but also good for the business.
  • Get Started: There are times when you do not know where you are going, in such situations, it is better to start moving slowly and learn as you go along rather than wait to get all the information before acting. This also means that you can continue to experiment in multiple directions and learn from them.
  • Responsibility without authority: Giving someone responsibility without giving them the authority to make things happen is not only frustrating but also a waste of everyone’s time and effort.

These are but some learnings I think I am taking away from this conversation.

He shares a lot of great insights in the conversation and I do hope that you enjoy the same as well. Please do share with us what is it that you found most interesting by writing a content.

You can also buy his book:

Please note that this is an affiliate link.

You can connect with Aaron on Twitter at https://twitter.com/windspike

PS: Please do leave a rating or a review on iTunes if you liked the episode.

This show was originally recorded using Google+ Hangout. You can find the unedited version of the recording on YouTube.