“Fail early, fail often, but always fail forward.” — John C. Maxwell
“Fail early, fail fast” is a truism generally unchallenged by innovators. It’s unchallenged because it gives them an excuse for the consequences of making assumptions, or avoiding customer research, or ignoring the financial reality of the business case, or all of the above. Claiming a ‘fast failure’ gives the innovator the license to believe they were shooting for greatness and with time, with perseverance, with more resources, it will be achieved. But, leadership should hold innovation teams to the same standards of success as they would any other business function. Failing fast, or slow, can only be acceptable when there aren’t any consequences. Succeeding in innovation is critical, because failure in innovation, as in any aspect of business, has very real consequences to business and business leaders.