Embracing Change, Innovation and our Fear of Failure

Embracing Change, Innovation and our Fear of Failure


Netha Johnson, President, Bromine Specialties
October 30, 2019

Many wonderful experiences, amazing products and innovative services started with a pioneer who dared to think differently. At Albemarle, thinking differently is a value we not only admire, but one that we encourage.

In a rapidly changing environment, it can be difficult to think differently because we find comfort operating in silos, and struggle to identify new ways forward. Other times, we find the inspiration to do something differently, or try something new, but decide not act on it out of a fear of change, or worry that our efforts will end in failure. The truth is, change and failure are simply stepping-stones towards innovation and success. Throughout my years of experience, I’ve learned two very valuable lessons about this topic.

Don’t fear change ─ change is one of life's constants.

Change presents new and different opportunities that allow growth and improvement. In the midst of change, I’ve learned to seek comfort by embracing the simple philosophy of identifying “what's possible." Focusing on what’s possible allows you to begin thinking beyond the incremental and start making the big strides that can move you ahead in work and life.

Innovation is often the result of failure.

When we approach new projects, activities or ideas with a fear of failing, we often paralyze ourselves, and the entire effort we seek to improve. By embracing failure and thoughtfully evaluating it rather than treating it as an end, it becomes a unique step in the innovation process. It can teach you important lessons and help foster change and success moving forward.

At Albemarle, we’re learning how to thrive in a culture of change. Change opens doors for innovation by allowing us to think beyond how to do things better, and consider how to do things differently – and we believe, doing things differently is often where significant, long-lasting improvement occurs.

Netha Johnson is President of Albemarle’s Bromine Specialties global business unit. As President, Bromine Specialties, Johnson is responsible for overseeing and leading the continued success of the global business unit, while ensuring it supports the company's overall growth strategy.

Additionally, Johnson provides leadership for our Global IT organization and vast digital transformation efforts.

This article is part of Albemarle’s internal “Pace of Change” series which aims to address how and why Albemarle’s business is evolving, while exploring ways to better understand and navigate the pace of change. To learn more about Albemarle Corporation, as well as, our values, careers, dedication to philanthropy and leadership, please visit www.albemarle.com.