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Spring 2016— Innovation

Failure is probably not the first thought that comes to mind when you hear the word “innovation.” And yet, it is one of the first topics we discuss in this issue of Stanford Business.

That is because failure — as the startup culture knows — has its place in the creative process, says Baba Shiv, a marketing professor at Stanford GSB. We learn from our mistakes even if accepting them is not always easy.

Nurturing a culture that invites innovation is also crucial, as noted by Charles Holloway, professor emeritus of operations, information and technology. Indeed, the makeup of a founding team, says finance Professor Shai Bernstein, is a key factor investors consider during early-stage funding.

Luckily for those who are bored with their jobs, retaining a cutting-edge approach depends a lot on keeping employees happy, says Justin Berg, a professor of organizational behavior, who has developed a system to make an old job feel new.

That’s one problem I don’t have. Since I just started as editorial director in January, my job is feeling very new. I look forward to getting to know you, and hearing from you at

— Deborah Petersen, Editorial Director