Who of you out there really likes to fail? I know I don’t. And I also know that if you fail at something more than you succeed, it can jeopardize your business, your personal relationships, your life – or at the very least, your self-esteem.

I’ve worked in the innovation management field for close to 20 years and it amazes me that when it comes to innovation, CEOs and executives often pass off failure as something that should be expected, and in some cases encouraged. You’ve heard the advice from Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence : “Test fast, fail fast, adjust fast.” Even A.G. Lafley, the former CEO of Procter & Gamble, famously said that unless P&G experiences a certain amount of innovation failure, not enough innovation is happening.

So the question is: why do companies accept average innovation success rates of 17 percent when they can enjoy 86 percent success rates like our clients? Is it fear of change? Not being open to “innovating” how they go about innovation? A lack of insight or leadership?

Last year, I participated in a panel discussion on innovation at the Edison Awards and made the bold statement that companies could experience innovation success rates of more than 80 percent. Competitors challenged me. Other panelists looked in disbelief.

Strategyn released today an independent study proving that companies who have used our Outcome-Driven Innovation methodology have enjoyed 86 percent rates when launching a new product or service offering. This study clearly shows that ODI can help companies dramatically reduce their innovation failure rates and costs, while bringing products and services to the marketplace that meet customers needs – the bedrock of success.

For all of those who say innovation is not a process that can’t be managed and that failure is good, I say, “Think again.” There is a process that exists that is five times more effective than traditional innovation methods. How will you “innovate” innovation in your organization?

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About Tony Ulwick

Tony is the pioneer of Jobs-to-be-Done Theory, the inventor of the Outcome-Driven Innovation® (ODI) process, and the founder of Strategyn. Philip Kotler calls Tony “the Deming of innovation” and Clayton Christensen credits him with “bringing predictability to innovation.” Published in Harvard Business Review and MIT Sloan Management Review, Tony is also the author of 2 best sellers: What Customers Want and JOBS TO BE DONE: Theory to Practice.

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