When Failure Is Not an Option

Leading an Innovation Strategy

“Houston, we’ve got a problem.” These words open an amazing episode of creativity, leadership, and innovation for NASA, just fifty-six hours into Apollo 13, the third mission to explore the surface of the moon (Krantz, 2000, p. 11). The movie Apollo 13 (Howard, 1995) dramatizes the scene: chaos erupts as the astronauts report an explosion on board the wildly gyrating spacecraft, amid screeching alarms, with ground controllers listening in disbelief, unsure and mistrustful of the multiple failures their instruments are indicating. In what just moments before had ...

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