Learning From Failure
Failure is not something we like to consider. But oftentimes, experiencing failure is one of the ways we grow and become better. Making mistakes often means you are trying, and learning from failure is a key factor. We all will experience failure at some point in our lives. It becomes critical to avoid repeating those failures and accept that not all failures are bad. We should properly learn from such difficulty. Even a genius like Einstein, made many mistakes.
The opportunity in failure is not commonly acknowledged since failure is regarded as always being bad. Certainly there is bad failure, but there is failure that is sometimes unavoidable, and at times a good thing. Developing a process to detect the failure and properly learning from it is not easy.
We should avoid jumping straight into finding blame, and build a learning culture in our practices. Blame prevents failure from being reported, and this is a basic step for your team to learn. A learning culture also offers the opportunity for your team members to take risks. No risk, no reward. In a blame culture, as opposed to a learning culture, team members will avoid experimenting, developing and implementing change. Because change is risky, and can lead to failure, it is often avoided. Change continues to happen all around us, so we must accept failure is bound to happen if we plan to embrace change, adapt and grow.
When considering strategies for learning from failure, Amy Edmondson suggests a spectrum of failures that start with blameworthy failures and progresses to praiseworthy failures. This allows us to see that not all failures are equal:
Let’s consider acknowledging failure and finding its causes. Once we avoid denial and embrace a process of learning from failure, we can stop living behind excuses and work to make our future better.