Business Book Review: Fail Better By Anjali Sastry and Kara Penn

While innovation fuels the future, failures are inevitable. The authors’ Fail Better approach is designed to make missteps work for you.


1. Launching your project requires the right groundwork. Forget the complicated project plan. Keep it “simple, supple and scrappy.” Being concise ensures that you delve deeply into the causes of the problem, not its symptoms. A concise statement of the problem also contains the specifics of those affected by the process, a prioritized list of deliverables and ways to measure progress.

2. Don’t repeat processes; refine them. Think of the project’s activities as learning-by-doing rather than following protocol.

3. Use knowledge-sharing to embed learning in the organization. Assemble an archive of all projects that includes timelines, priorities, team construction, actions and outcomes. Because no project ever goes as planned, the archive should include shifts within projects and the reasons behind them.

Key takeaway: “The right kind of failure instructs, refines and improves ideas, work products, skills, capacities and teamwork.”

Culled From The Dallas Daily News
By Jim Pawlak

Jim Pawlak reviews business books for The Dallas Morning News. Follow him on Twitter at @JimPawlak.


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