StartUps: Fear of failure prevents innovation


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Germany has a corporate and anti-founding mentality. And straight Pleitiers are always the bad guys. This is also reflected in the handling of errors. Unfortunately, this also avoids innovations.

StartUps: Fear of failure prevents innovation StartUps: Fear of failure prevents innovation


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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisher, German Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.

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Distrust of entrepreneurs

What emerges from such an education can be admired time and again in the news: risk avoidance rather than innovation. Damage limitation instead of constructive handling of errors. From real "Entrepreneurship" - has not even a name of the academic entrepreneurship training in German - is not much to remember.

The result is a fundamental mistrust of entrepreneurs. They are considered evil, greedy and ruthless when they make a profit - a shot of envy swings it certainly always with.

The worst are the Pleitiers

But they are even more evil when they go broke: For then all think that this could only happen because that Company wanted to make too high profits too fast. Or because the entrepreneur could not handle money. And that he now files for bankruptcy at the expense of his debtors. The failed entrepreneur is quickly stigmatized.

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But it is not that simple, unfortunately: there are such black sheep, but mostly for smaller companies are not management errors cause of insolvency. Much more often lies the blame for external factors such as personal and health problems of the entrepreneur, the bad payment morale of customers - or the bureaucracy.

The tax office can also initiate insolvency proceedings

Because what many do not know: Also tax or health insurance can initiate a bankruptcy - and sometimes do that, if the company owes them only a few thousand euros.

The bitter message is: Anyone can hit it. Even the one who can do nothing. Because sometimes you just have bad luck! Many do not want to hear that, insolvency is a taboo topic, it scares. The result is all sorts of absurd defensive measures that make life difficult for future bankrupts.

The opposite of innovation

Unfortunately, many managers are afraid of the opposite of Innovatviem because of fear of failure: they are overshooting the situation, are still in debt, and hope that the crisis is already going somewhere - also for fear of admitting one's own failure.

Or they isolate themselves out of shame because they can no longer compete financially with their circle of friends and acquaintances.

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Dangerous devil's circle

A devil's circle, for instance, which results from the combination of a lack of corporate culture, the resulting fear of failure, and exaggerated perfectionism as a compensation strategy.

This is fatal not only for the companies themselves, but for the entire economy, as the innovative start-ups are considered to be a great source of hope. If the innovations are curtailed at an early stage, this is a problem for Germany as a business location. To escape is not easy - but it is possible, and first approaches already exist.

Training as an entrepreneur

In Germany, the need for entrepreneurship training is becoming more and more important, which could lead to a change in the entrepreneurial image in the medium term. And the entrepreneurial failure is also increasingly addressed:

Germany's model insolvency practitioner Anne Koark has written a book on the subject and regularly reports in the media about her bankruptcy. In Cologne, Attila von Unruh, himself a bankrupt entrepreneur, founded the Anonymous Bankruptcy Bank, a discussion group in which people regularly and naturally anonymously share their experiences, sometimes even generating new business ideas.

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  1. Markus B.

    Fear Eat Soul - and Innovation. That's the way it is. No one is founded to fail.

    • Simone Janson

      Thank you for your contribution!

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