Leading Blog






01.13.15

There is No Magic in Failing

Despite all the talk about making you feel better about inevitable failures, failure is only an opportunity if you learn from it and then act on it.

What if you actually orchestrated better failures? Designed useful failures instead of hit or miss failures?

Fail Better
That’s what Anjali Sastry and Kara Penn suggest in their book Fail Better. “The right kind of failure instructs, refines, and improves ideas, work products, skills, capacities, and teamwork.” The idea is to “generate small, smart mistakes that enable your team its work requirements (a first-order performance goal) while building capacity, habits, and insight (the second-order, deeper change).”

To this end they offer the three-step Fail Better Method:

Launch your project. The goal of the launch phase is not to over plan and set things in stone, but to consider your project in context, anticipate outcomes as tied to a series of logical assumptions, pull together your resources, and get the right people involved. Plan your projects in such a way as to make any failures useful.

Build and refine. It can be helpful to think of your project as a cauldron for experimentation and learning—in which you will plan, act, and assess to decide the next step. Approach your project in cycles or chunks in which you plan, act, and assess, then take the next step, and even big projects become more tractable while enabling your team to learn and refine its plans.

Identify and apply what you've learned. The final step is embedding what you’ve learned not just within your team but organizationally.

No one can know exactly why things turn out the way they do. Even while learning from your mistakes, the corrective action is based on incomplete knowledge. You will need to “identify lessons learned while bearing in mind that your understanding is limited.”

Learning is a skill that is never taught, but it is a critical one as we go forward. A systems approach is essential. “Systems thinking teaches us that it’s more fruitful to take an endogenous view that seeks to explain how the results are a product of factors in which you play a part as well. You have much more power to shape outcomes if you can better understand how the problems and opportunities you face today are connected to your own past actions and are influenced by the structure of the industry, society, and ecosystem in which you play a role.”

Our biggest issues will not be solved with a single solution. Rather they will be solved bit-by-bit—even across groups—one effort at a time. Learning as we go.

* * *

Of Related Interest:
  Learn or Die
* * *

Like us on Facebook for additional leadership and personal development ideas.
* * *



Posted by Michael McKinney at 10:23 PM
| Comments (0) | This post is about Learning



SEARCH THIS BLOG


SAP Concur

Entrepreneurs

Leadership Books
How to Do Your Start-Up Right
STRAIGHT TALK FOR START-UPS



Explore More

Leadership Books
Grow Your Leadership Skills
NEW AND UPCOMING LEADERSHIP BOOKS

Leadership Minute
Leadership Minute
BITE-SIZE CONCEPTS YOU CAN CHEW ON

Leadership Classics
Classic Leadership Books
BOOKS TO READ BEFORE YOU LEAD


Email
Get the LEAD:OLOGY Newsletter delivered to your inbox.    
Follow us on: Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Instagram

© 2019 LeadershipNow™

All materials contained in https://www.LeadershipNow.com are protected by copyright and trademark laws and may not be used for any purpose whatsoever other than private, non-commercial viewing purposes. Derivative works and other unauthorized copying or use of stills, video footage, text or graphics is expressly prohibited.