This post isn't about the importance of embracing failure as a means of moving forward. There is a good reason why most big organizations temper their exposure to failure. Their risk/reward needs just don't justify the leap into the unproven. Nobody aims to be less than perfect. But it's time we embraced optimal imperfection.
There is a massive chasm between optimal imperfection and failure. Failure speaks of poor performance. Optimal imperfection isn't about the untapped opportunities but the compromises made to deliver the best-possible solution, to make the most of the imperfect world we live in.
If life were perfect then we would have nothing to strive for. Business innovation cannot be about finding the perfect solution because the perfect solution rarely exists. Rather, we must focus on finding our optimal imperfection points. We must do our best to identify the best possible compromises that will deliver on our staged objectives. Outline the compromises you're embraced and build a gameplan for improvement. Map your equity exchange and set expectations. Nobody buys into a platform that fails to deliver, but not every solution need to a killer, it just needs to be good enough to meet your staged objectives and expectations.
Hallmarks of Optimal Imperfection
- Budgets aren't front loaded, but phased with peaks and valleys to meet phased deployment needs.
- Risk is mitigated by safe guards as best possible and limited to the rational risk-reward needs of the organization.
- Collaboration and innovation is an objective, but silos and challenges are expected, accepted for what they are, challenged and kept in mind.
- Feedback is invited, expected, appreciated and considered, even if it can't be acted against.
- Regular scheduled regroups at key intervals consider progress and feedback against vision goal based on roadmap.
- Interim solutions are acceptable compromises.
- Relentless optimism coupled a strong supporting environment invites both out of the box and incrementally innovative thinking.
- Baby steps.