Azim Premji recently spoke on innovation at the Stanford Business School.
Failure is an essential part of the innovative process, “It is impossible to generate a few good ideas without a lot of bad ideas. Failure should be forgiven and forgotten quickly,” he said during his Oct. 27 visit. Premji’s talk was part of the School’s View from the Top speaker series.
To that end, companies must deliberately design a culture of innovation to actively seek feedback from customers, celebrate all kinds of diversity in their workforces, and also foster an environment in which workers feel safe taking risks, even when they fail.
“In every market, at every juncture, there are significant scale advantages that make the largest companies appear invincible. Yet time and time again, upstart technologies create disruptions and they change the rules of the game,” said Premji. He used the example of Skype, which became the first company to offer voice-over-Internet phone services on a broad scale years after all the established phone companies had started talking about the process.
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