Building a Tolerance for Failure Doesn’t Mean It Should Be Accepted Everywhere

I often talk with business leaders about the need to build in a tolerance for risk taking and potential failure if they want to drive growth and innovate.  Frequently I get asked if there are specific areas where we should not tolerate failure?  My standard response is that Accounting would be one of those areas where organizations should be very cautious with “innovation” and the potential for failure.  This story from today’s headlines in another such area.

Today Ford Motor Company announced a recall on their F-Series ambulances because of a problem that can cause the vehicle to stop unexpectedly.  According to Ford, the vehicles have a faulty gas temperature sensor that can cause the engine to shutdown and not be restarted for an hour (Pioneer Press: Ford recalls ambulances because engines can stop).

Recognizing the role of failure in driving growth and innovation is an imperative for organizations but building a tolerance for failure doesn’t mean it should be accepted everywhere.

I am curious to hear your thoughts on where else should failure not be accepted.  What areas within your organization should strive to be failure free?


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