The idea of fast failure is not a new or shocking revelation. Going back to the early 2000s, post dot-com bubble, the concept of fast failure was originally introduced as a methodology for businesses to rapidly innovate, iterate, and define the viability of an emerging product/service. Facebook even had its own adaption of the methodology when Mark Zuckerberg coined the motto “Move fast and break things.” And yet recently there have been numerous reports that “fast failure” is dead — this could not be further from the truth.
In fact, from a recent Forrester survey, we discovered that companies that adopt a culture of fast failure grow revenue four times faster than the industry average. This comes from a survey of over 500 executives, directors, and innovation leaders that allowed us to identify fast failure as one of three core capabilities of becoming an adaptive enterprise.
What It Means
What does this mean for you? Simply put, fast failure starts with a cultural foundation that allows employees to feel secure in their day-to-day roles while also providing opportunities for them to step outside their comfort zones and come up with new ideas. It also means that organizations need to create a culture where failure is actively encouraged as long as it is done fast and rapidly iterated on.
If your team or organization is striving to become more adaptive in changing markets, we would love to hear from you.