The CEO and CFO responded with, "A failure to hit ROI and NPV targets." The head of R&D remembered it as a failure to properly market the innovation. The Chief Marketing Officer recalled that sales and distribution did not achieve planned market presence. The disturbing pattern here wasn't that the failure had occurred, but that there was no consensus at all, no common understanding from which to learn. The company had never analyzed the failure, learned from it, and socialized that learning.
I'm finding myself thinking about this a lot lately. I need to be better at understanding and integrating failure constructively.