by Jana Branch
- In contrast to the success-only mantra of the last 20 years, the notion of failure as a natural — and necessary — part of innovation is showing up in education and business circles.
- Honda’s luscious documentary short film series includes “Failure: The Secret to Success” by director Derek Cianfrance. As one interviewee notes: “Failure is the byproduct of pushing the envelope.”
- Articles like “Why Failure is Good for Meeting and Event Planners” (IndustryThoughts.net, 29 November 2010) and a rash of recent self-published books (we assume writing from experience) boil down to that all-American mantra: Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, start all over again.
- Author Heidi Grant Halvorson blogs about studies that “show that when people feel they are allowed to make mistakes, they are significantly less likely to actually make them!” The difference? Learning-centric goals are less anxiety-producing than success-centric goals.
WHAT THIS MEANS TO BUSINESS
- Innovation will drive us forward, but creative minds need room to fail so they can succeed. Whether internal staff or consumer brand fans, let their flow of new ideas include mistakes, failures and happy accidents.
- And for those knocked off their life or career horses, reframing failure as part of a natural cycle (instead of a fatal flaw) can be the encouragement they need to get back on that horse again. Not a bad message for a colleague or your consumer.