I had a conversation with my mom recently about an apparel retailer that is going out of business. She had attributed their fate to a declining economy. My own take: the clothing was staid–and there’s a limited market for boring. The company never took a risk. It didn’t try to refresh, modernize, reinvent for changing styles.

Successful businesses don’t sit still.

There’s a reason abandon is one of my 3 words for 2012.

There’s a terrific piece on Inc.com about taking risks and making mistakes. Author Paul Schoemaker points out:

If you have ever flown in an airplane, used electricity from a nuclear power plant, or taken an antibiotic, you have benefited from someone’s brilliant mistake. Each of these life-changing innovations was the result of many missteps and an occasional insight that turned a mistake into a surprising portal of discovery.

 

His point: you have to take risks, and test things, and be willing to fail (i.e., make a mistake). It’s a short article and well worth the read.

Photo by Brett Jordan (Flickr).