Nothing stays the same. Things find fresh avenues of growth and prosper or become stagnant and fail. This is certainly true of family-led enterprises. As a family business continues from generation to generation, significant social and economic changes can nullify what had been their core business. A culture of innovation is needed to ensure continued multigenerational success.
Two things are sure about innovation. One: It is necessary for long-term survival. Two: it is prone to initial failure.
Innovation undertaken when beset by hostility, by doubts; under pressure to succeed; under fear or failure, situates the whole process on unstable ground.
In Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success, author John C. Maxwell writes: “To succeed you have to be open to problems. You have to be open to failure.” He presents examples throughout his book of many well-known people who failed—on average more than once—before succeeding.
As it goes in entrepreneurship, so it goes with innovation. The message: don’t be afraid.