“Design thinking” is an emerging school of thought around innovation and new product development. Many who practice this approach believe in rapid prototyping — getting products into customer hands quickly, soliciting feedback, and then adapting the product before going through additional rounds of the same. While the approach has many advocates, a culturally engrained “fear of failure” can make adoption of the concept a challenge. A post at the HBR Blog Network, “The No. 1 Enemy of Creativity: Fear of Failure” (October 5, 2012, you may have to register to access) provides some background. As regular readers know, I have a soft spot in my heart (and my classes) for creativity — click on the “Creativity” tag on the right for some past posts on the topic.
What do you think about the authors’ assumptions? Do you agree that we are raised to fear failure? Does this fear of failure result in more cautious ideas — less creativity? If you think that begin more accepting of failure would make you more creative, how can you begin to change your mindset?
[Update: right after I posted this I found the video below that provides some great examples related to this idea.]