Those companies that are continuously recognized for their new ideas are the ones with cultures that accept the fact that attempts at new products or processes don’t always produce the expected results. They don’t punish people for these failures but, rather, they learn from them and sometimes even realizethat the unanticipated outcome might have great value of its own. [One of the best-known cases is 3M’s Post-it notes, the failed attempt at creating a super-adhesive.]

How well do your employees work/play together?

Contrary to popular belief, successful innovations usually come from groups of people, not a solo inventor. The archetype inventor, Thomas Edison, held 1093 patents. But guess what- he didn’t work alone. He had scientists working under his direction who helped make it happen.

How well are your employees managed?

Innovation means experimentation. The only way to avoid failure is to keep doingwhat’s been done before. It’s not whether or not there’s a failure but how your organization responds to it.