Case Synopsis Coca‐Cola Chairman and former CEO E. Neville Isdell knows that the best companies embrace their mistakes and learn from them. That’s why Isdell does not mind rhyming off the list of Coke’s failures over the years. In fact, he is keen to convince employees and shareholders that he will tolerate the failures that will inevitably result from the bigger risks that he wants Coke to take. At the same time, say analysts, balancing a learning culture with a performance culture is a perennial challenge.
Intuit, the tax software company, thinks it has a solution. When one of its marketing strategies recently flopped, the company celebrated the failure and spent a lot of time dissecting it. This BusinessWeek case study describes several ways that companies learn from their mistakes while still maintaining a strong focus on performance and the bottom line.
1. What perceptual problems do managers need to overcome with failures? How can these perceptual problems be minimized?
2. Describe the experiential learning process that companies, mentioned in this case study, apply to learn from their mistakes and failures.