Eli Lilly

No not the Republicans and Democrats. Horn-totting, champagne-toasting, rip-roaring celebrations of failure.

Something that really sets the tone in any culture is its celebrations. These special occasions are a time where we stop and reflect what we are all about and what matters to us. That which is celebrated will be embraced.

This notion of celebrating failure has come up before with ‘Divorce Parties’ and Broken Blade Award. Amy C. Edmonson adds another case study of the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly about in her HBR piece

”The remedy…is to reduce the stigma of failure. Eli Lilly has done this since the early 1990’s by holding ‘failure parties’ to honor intelligent, high-quality scientific experiments that fail to achieve the desired results. The parties don’t cost much, and redeploying valuable resources – particularly scientists – to new projects earlier rather than later can save hundreds of thousands of dollars, not to mention kickstart potential new discoveries.”

The Wall Street Journal also featured an even more in depth piece on positive impact of Eli Lilly’s embrace of failure titled “By Learning From Failures, Lilly Keeps Drug Pipeline Full” (paywalled).