That’s right. We are talking about the “F” word here. Most of us don’t want to discuss it just because we think it is not acceptable from ourselves and we assume our credibility will come under scrutiny. Well, that’s one reason.There might be a hundred other reasons why people don’t talk about failures and setbacks openly.  

Not all failures evoke the spark to do better. Some failures are demotivating. We usually talk about challenges faced during a successful journey but it has to end at success, especially for SME leaders and established startups. And we believe that’s why we exist – to keep pushing our limits.

Failures and innovations go hand in hand. They are interconnected and interdependent. In most ways, they manifest themselves as in the philosophy of dualism of “Yin and Yang”. We have to acknowledge both as one does not exist without the other. But to keep innovating, we needed the balance to not run out of resources and encouragement. Like any other aspiring business, we also had to keep checking on the cost of our innovation. We learned that the fail-fast concept is one of the best suitable approaches for organisations like ours – with limited funds and resources.  We always find a balance between fail-fast and not quitting too quickly and compromising creativity and vision. We kept encouraging ourselves to not give up on our idea just yet. The determination to stay focused and do better and smarter in each one of us played a fundamental role in making our idea become a creation.

Find a balance between fail-fast and not quitting...

Team culture plays the biggest part in the innovation process. We understand that if we are running an innovation kitchen we need to empower our sous chef to dish out “undesired dishes” occasionally in the process. And that’s alright. To motivate the team and to make sure they are not getting burned out, we continue to use mentoring and retrospective as feedback mechanisms to derive at the perfect recipe. As the expert navigates, the team should have the right spirit and demeanour to improvise the process or the ingredients until we get the palatable result.

We have been pushed to an uncharted territory of a global pandemic that most of us have not witnessed in our lifetime. Volatile markets, budget constraints and limited resources will challenge our entrepreneurship resilience but let’s channel our energy and focus towards innovation and creating opportunities in the time of crisis as described in the philosophy of “Yin and Yang”.

Author: Rajesh Singh, Venture CTO @ ScaleupSt