My best failure: when mistakes are valuable

Published on Friday, 4 March 2016

“My Best Failure embodies our Open Power spirit. Searching for new products and solutions means running the risk of making a mistake, having the courage of treading unknown paths.”

– Ernesto Ciorra, Enel Head of Innovation and Sustainability

When mistakes lead to success

Drastically changing the management processes of a warehouse following careful planning and then finding out that senior colleagues had already come up with more effective solutions about to be implemented. Conceiving new ideas for environmental offsetting projects, ruling out one that seemed too innovative, but which is then successfully applied by a competitor.

Examples of “successful mistakes” shared on My Best Failure have a common denominator: the person who made the mistake seized the chance to learn and then started again on the project with greater impetus.

The goal and the attempt, the mistake and lesson. The way in which we tell each other failures turned into opportunities for improvement that we consider can be useful for everyone's work is simple.

We reward mistakes

My Best Failure is an initiative that embodies our Open Power spirit. Searching for new products and solutions means running the risk of making a mistake, having the courage of treading unknown paths.

Christopher Columbus was looking for the Indies when he discovered the Americas, this probably being the most revolutionary successful mistake in history. But there is a long list of common objects and tools whose creators had the courage of not being afraid of making a mistake: tyres and celluloid, Post-its and TV remote control are just a few of the most well-known examples.

An open mind, willingness to change and perseverance are specific traits of any great innovation. This is why we reward who share their failures, based on the awareness that they can thus make a contribution to improving their own and their colleagues' performances.

In fact, the My Best Failure platform allows to vote for the mistakes that are considered most useful. The authors of the first ten “successful mistakes” will be able to collaborate with one of the startups that have partnered with Enel or to work in a Group unity other than their own as a reward and encouragement for the openness to novelty and change that they have shown.