Innovation is the flavor of the moment. We have organizations that ask their employees to track every activity by the hour and punish errors calling and asking us how we can help their employees be more innovative. It is a hard sell when we tell them that innovation only happens in a culture where people are allowed to make mistakes.
In a recent essay in The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Be Wrong as Fast as You Can’ Hugo Lindgren references an interview Charlie Rose did with Pixar cofounder John Lasseter:
“Pixar’s in-house theory is: Be wrong as fast as you can. Mistakes are an inevitable part of the creative process, so get right down to it and start making them. Even great ideas are wrecked on the road to fruition and then have to be painstakingly reconstructed. Every Pixar film was the worst motion picture ever made at one time or another,” Lasseter said. “People don’t believe that, but it’s true. But we don’t give up on the films.”
Most problems require creativity to solve. Creativity is messy and sometimes it takes a lot of bad ideas to get to the good idea, but you don’t really know if your idea is good or not until you start to flesh it out. So, a good motto, “Be wrong as fast as you can.” And I might add, because this is certainly true for me: “Get use to being wrong.”