Can mistakes lead to innovation? The revolution of My best failure

Can mistakes lead to innovation? The revolution of My best failure

Enel’s My Best Failure project helps people to learn from mistakes – their own and those of others – thanks to a digital platform on which these can be shared to become a resource for everybody: the most useful examples win a prize.


How many times have we been told: “You learn from your mistakes”? When we were children this meant encouraging us not to be afraid of making mistakes, which are inevitable in order to know, learn and grow.

As adults we believe that this sensible rule should no longer be followed. However, at Enel we are firmly convinced of the value of making mistakes. This is why we created My Best Failure, a digital platform that allows us to share our ‘best unsuccessful performances’ with our colleagues, so they can be used on the path of growth and innovation. 


Failures lead to learning and growth

The examples of “successful mistakes” shared through My Best Failure have a common denominator: making a mistake is a chance to learn and start again with greater expertise. In other words, instead of demonising or hiding them, you should acknowledge your errors, seize their value and turn them into an opportunity for growth.  


“My Best Failure reflects our Open Power spirit. Looking for new products and solutions means risking making mistakes, daring to follow new unknown roads”
Ernesto Ciorra, Enel Director Innovation and Sustainability

The major strength of My best failure is the change in mentality it involves, setting continual improvement as the common goal of our daily work and stating that today’s success is important only if it lays the foundations for tomorrow’s.  


May the best failure win

On My Best Failure the Enel people can vote for particularly useful mistakes made by their colleagues and reward them.

This original contest enhances those among us who are able to learn from their unsuccessful performances, using them to improve their work and continue along the road of change and innovation.

The authors of the first ten “best failures” were given an award in early September. As part of the prize, these colleagues from Italy, Greece, Russia and Latin America were given the chance to work with a startup partnered with Enel or in an unity within the Group other than their own, as a way to acknowledge and encourage  their openness towards new changes.


“The person who never made a mistake never tried anything new
Albert Einstein

We do not fear making mistakes because we know that we have to open up to new experiences and that the world-changing innovations also start from a new and open way of conceiving one’s work.