As a strategist – one who focuses on finding ways to out maneuver the competition – my conversations rarely touch on failure. If you read other strategists, most never talk about failure in strategy because the whole point of strategy is to avoid failure. But the reality is that it can happen, and certain decisions have to be made before proceeding.
Here’s the thing about strategy: if you are going to try to gain some strategic advantage, you will probably (hopefully!) try to do something disruptive (the iPod, for example, changed the way that people listen to music). Whenever you try something that is brand new – getting people to do something or think about something differently, you will experience some type of risk. With risk comes some opportunity for failure.
If you just looked from the perspective of product development or true innovation, you would see that most new ventures fail! That applies to new products, new inventions, new businesses, new prospects, etc.. How many companies launched products that you have never seen again? Perhaps some of their products were EPIC FAILS! (Think New Coke)
The challenge that we face is how to handle it.