How Fostering Failure Can Help Develop an Innovative Mindset

Representatives of AACSB's 2018 Innovations That Inspire class share why taking lessons from when you fail is imperative to creating new success in future endeavors.


Beate Baldwin: [00:15] Innovative mindset, basically, I think it starts with humility. It's being able to question yourself and your own assumptions but also the environment you're in and also looking beyond your own frontiers. This is one thing, but then also ask the right questions and being able to learn from your mistakes; be resilient, and never give up.

Silvio Borrero Caldas: [00:37] We think an innovative mindset implies taking risks, calculated risks, hopefully, and being willing to make mistakes, to fail, and to learn from your mistakes. If you never fail, if you never make mistakes, then you are not innovating and you are not learning from whatever you're doing.

[00:59] In the absence of a willingness to take risks and to make mistakes, innovation just cannot occur. In a business school that's there to train our next-generation business leaders, institutionally, you have not only to tolerate failure but to foster failure if it's an honest consequence of taking calculated risks, of experimenting, of prototyping in the classroom.

Alfredas Chmielauskas: [01:32] Innovative mindset is not a fixed mindset, definitely. You have to be able to cope with constant change. You have to be ready to learn all the time, because being an innovator is being ahead of the rest of the time. It takes a lot of effort.

[01:55] First of all, learning, learning all the time, not giving up, be persistent, and learning from your lessons, learning from your mistakes. So don't stop. Persist. Be courageous and accept the constant change.

Homer Erekson: [02:07] One of the fun things we have at the Neeley School, we work with Four Day Weekend. Four Day Weekend is a comedy troupe out of Fort Worth, Texas. They are actually entrepreneurs and residents in the entrepreneurship program.

[02:23] One of the things they talk about in improvisation is the "Yes, and" philosophy. It's about when you think of a new idea or any idea that someone comes up with, don't confront it with "No, but"; confront it with "Yes, and."

[02:39] When we look at innovation, I think it's trying to find the space for possibility, if you will; that uncontested marketplace, that market space, and how can we really find a "Yes, and" solution.

[03:00] We try to empower our students to think that way, to say what is possible, and we try to help our business partners that work with us also see the "Yes, and." How can we make something happen, as oppose to saying, "No, this won't work"? That "Yes, and" philosophy is a real driver.

Christian Schott: [03:19] Innovative mindsets ultimately can't really be taught. You can't be taught, "You do this and then everything will go well." What we increasingly need to do is step back a little bit as educators and let the students find the way around some of these big topics.

[03:39] We try and link it to what's happening again outside of university, in the business world, in society more broadly. Really, that kind of innovative mindset is about agility, is about flexibility, is about the soft skills that students need to have. It's also about looking around the world and not just in your backyard to identify what the leaders of the future, if they're going to be global, international leaders, need to know what they need to understand to then be innovative.

Filmed April 2018 at ICAM in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.