This guest post is written by Dan McClure, the Innovation Design Lead at ThoughtWorks.
Sometimes it seems Eric Ries could have saved himself a lot of trouble when writing The Lean Startup by just printing the phrase “fail fast” on a stack of post-it notes and sending them out to innovation teams around the world.
The book has ample content worth studying, but almost every week I meet business leaders who have concluded that simply giving teams permission to “fail fast” is the secret to unlocking product innovation.
That’s too bad, because “fail fast” when taken literally is easily one of the least useful concepts for real life enterprise innovators. The phrase “learn quickly and think well” is a far more powerful mantra for would-be innovation leaders.