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Learning From the Past: How Understanding Failure and Success Fosters Effective Innovation

August 17, 2016

When people think of innovation, they’re likely to imagine a forward focused, trend-driven process built around creating the next best thing. But prudent leaders know that you simply can’t improve, grow, and move forward—the goal of innovation—without examining past outcomes. 

By identifying what was done right and admitting what could have been done differently, you can actually accelerate innovative progress. That’s because such examination can help you determine and address what factors have hindered your company’s growth. This enables you to overcome common issues such as refining too early or quickly, focusing on style over features and benefits, or not taking past experiences and learnings into account—each of which can compromise the effectiveness of new business practices or plans. 

Key factors to consider in evaluating your past: 

> Determine the ‘Why’. Pinpointing the motivation for innovation can help you determine whether an update or improvement was truly needed.

> Analyze the Audience. Reviewing responses to past releases and updates will provide insight into your audience's attitudes, motivations, and behavior, helping you tailor future innovations to user needs. 

 >Evaluate the Whole Picture. A consistent brand experience with each business update—from initial contact through purchase—improves a company’s image and promotes consumer loyalty.