My key as an innovator to learn how to fail: Chocolate!

Parallel to studying innovation, there’s a challenge on learning how to fail. Even though there are some mechanisms that can be used as tools to prevent us from something going wrong, still the risks continue to be present. Inclusively, sometimes we can be the ones who reject the potential of our own ideas without even trying. Nevertheless, daring to do something catalogued as impossible, might help us to learn how to fail… and even on how to succeed.

During my Innovation Engineering studies, we took an interesting workshop that had the objective of developing our creative skills. Brainstorming, quick challenges and rapid ideation were useful activities in order to achieve what intended. In fact, one of the most memorable activities was the “Fail In Love” project.

My professor Ewelina Ferchow, taught us that we can learn to fail by doing things out of our comfort zone or simply what we are skeptic off. Instead of being fearful with our own assumptions, having the bravery to do so might turn out better than expected. She asked us to come up with some ideas about small challenges we knew that were difficult to accomplish with limited time available to make them happen.

“I’ve always dreamt about having a full year of chocolates for free!”

Figure 1. Hershey’s Milk Chocolate

Literally that was my foolish fantasy, and just to add the cherry on the cake, I thought about having my own life-size chocolate sculpture for my birthday which was within days. Wouldn’t it be amazing and delicious? Free chocolates for a year!

A few seconds were enough for me to google Hershey’s phone number to give them a call. Enthusiastically, I explained my request to the chocolate’s company. Sadly, they told me that kind of service was not available so unfortunately, no sculpture nor chocolates for me. But… guess what?! Three minutes later, I received a call from them telling me they hired an artist to sculpt my life-size replica! That was crazy! They even asked me if I could allow them to document the whole experience.

My purpose of telling you this story, is for different reasons:

  • First of all, I wouldn’t normally dare to do something were the chances of getting a ‘yes’ are minimum. However, this practice made me realize that sometimes it’s worthy to try.
  • There is nothing wrong with failing, simply we need to do it as fast as possible and choose smartly our battles.
  • Our mind is powerful enough to halt our ambitions. Let’s be careful and train ourselves by practicing acts to encourage our bravery.

There are so many different scenarios in which you can learn how to fail. You just need to keep on looking for daily challenges that can make you realize that failing is just part of innovating. Just imagine, my love for chocolates triggered a global company to hire an artist to carve a life-size sculpture for me. At least in this case, my key as an innovator to learn how to fail was chocolate!