Osborne, Larry. Innovation’s Dirty Little Secret: Why Serial Innovators Succeed Where Others Fail. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2013. Kindle Electronic Edition.
Chapter 11, “The High Price of Failure: Why Trust and Credibility Are Too Important to Lose” (Loc. 1059-1197)
Some projects are destined for failure. Some failures can remove our credibility to an extent that we never recover. Osborne calls those failures “leadership felonies” (Loc. 1084). Moral failure is an obvious one. Any high profile failure will also cause lasting harm (Loc. 1097). Another felony is “overhyped failure” (Loc. 1113). Osborne compares this to the work of a carnival barker, having nothing to say but doing it loudly. If everything is life-changing we become cynics (Loc. 1120).
Osborne discusses the idea of a “soft opening” for a church, similar to that of a high-end restaurant, where friends and associates come to stress test and evaluate (Loc. 1138). After the bugs are worked out the growth can come. He then moves on to observe that when leaders are seen as indecisive the whole organization loses traction (Loc. 1162).