Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Rewarding Failure

I recently shared a few comments concerning rewarding failure in a meeting with some colleagues. I felt that the title was catchy and would attract interest, but the real message was about encouraging us to try new ideas and expressions as we accomplish tasks and lead people.

We live in an ever-changing culture where the media is constantly prompting people to reinvent themselves, where methods of marketing become outdated as soon as they are rolled out to the public, and where in some industries if you are not ahead of the curve, then you must already be behind it.

In order to stay effective in our influence of those around us and in the culture in which we live, we need to attempt new methods of communication and fresh expressions of the values to which we hold. In other words, we must try new ways to be effective.
But we must understand that any new endeavor can potentially fail. Stepping out of the comfort and security of our current condition or status quo could cause us to fall flat on our faces. And many of us are afraid to take that step.

Hence rewarding failure. By encouraging new ideas, innovative methods and fresh thinking, we have the chance to become more effective and therefore more influential. Oh we may fail, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Just about all great discoveries were the result of attempting something new because the old way of thinking or doing just wasn't satisfying or effective anymore. "What if...?" and "Why not...?" are great questions to ask yourself and your team. Why not ask now?

Question:  What have you tried and perhaps failed at, but has made you more effective?

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