Rewarding Failed Efforts

I was reading the book Tata – The evolution of a corporate brand by Morgen Witzel and read about this concept that the group follows called ‘Dare to Try’. This is an award that is given to innovations done by the teams anywhere in the group, which are pathbreaking but did not take off in the marketplace. Couple of  examples mentioned in the book are:
  1. Plastic doors for cars
  2. Flavor capsule for tea, that you can carry with you. Imagine having a Ginger capsule that you can carry in your pocket, and use as and when you want. I know there used to be drops that I bought from Kerala sometime back, but then being liquid it was difficult to carry them.
Interestingly, an article by Sam Swaminathan in Mckinsey’s MIX ( Management Innovation Exchange), also mentions creating a space for employees to share their mistakes and rewarding few of them based on some criteria.
Now what happens is, essentially employees get a message that failing in an attempt is fine and will not work against them in the organization. I am not sure if people would really want to be rewarded for mistakes, but it does give confidence to everyone to try and explore the ideas in their heads. It can create an environment of openness as ideas can get evaluated from various angles by various people and in a modified form, idea may still see the light of the day or cross-pollinate other ideas.
Do you know any other examples of the organizations doing this formally?

Anuradha Goyal

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