REASON 1 Fail regularly to
ensure that you keep striving Failure occurs when you stretch / grow yourself, because you are out of your comfort level. If you’re not failing, you’re likely not stretching. Explicitly track (and record) your rate of personal failures. Ensure 1 meaty screw up per quarter, or force yourself to move into personally uncharted waters.
REASON 2 Fail regularly so
that you continue to be surprised Surprise is a key to innovation because it reveals opportunities. It also stores valuable Return on Investment if you learn from it. Seek out Failure and aggressively run retrospectives (post mortems). Celebrate what you learn positively, widely, and publicly.
REASON 3 Fail regularly to
keep an open mind We are biologically predisposed to calcify assumptions & shy from cognitive dissonance. Shake things up before they can’t be dislodged. Compose a list of 10 things that you believed 15 years ago, which you now know are false, or at least, not quite right. Remember how sure you were.
REASON 4 Fail regularly so
that you remind the ego to stay humble The greatest danger of confidence is over confidence Find and listen to the album “Nothing’s Shocking” by Jane’s Addiction. It has nothing to do with this topic. It’s just a fraking good album.
REASON 5 Fail regularly so
that you build empathy for others who fail Most people fear failure because of how they think others will see them. It is peer pressure which makes us avoid what is innately good for us. Look around for someone who is currently failing and give them a shoulder to lean on. No questions asked. No judgements made.
REASON 6 Fail regularly so
that you build confidence in your resilience One of the reasons that it was so hard to shave my head bald for the Children’s Cancer Foundation Hair for Hope program was the worry that it wouldn’t come back. It did. Compose a list of 3 big mistakes you’ve made in your life thus far. Appreciate that you got through them and that they are not nearly so dire years later.
REASON 7 Fail regularly to
build practical recovery skills so that you get up faster & stronger next time ‘nuff said Go back to the retrospective you ran for Reason #2 and analyse the process after the failure rather than before. Identify 1 thing to improve with recovery next round.
REASON 8 Fail regularly so
that failure becomes less scary & embarrassing Once you train your brain to see failure as an opportunity, it will become one Find someone who has failed (and who may feel privately ashamed) and let them know personally that it’s no big deal.
SMART FAILURE IS PROFITABLE Characteristics
of Smart Failures: • Costs of failure are low and returns are high • We can quickly determine we are failing so we can pivot • We learn LEGITIMATE FAILURES • You lacked all the data but had to go • You got unlucky with circumstance • Low cost of failure & high returns F@*K UPS • Lacked due diligence before or during • Failed to learn • High cost of failure & low returns WHY FAIL? • Ensure that you keep striving • Continue to be surprised • Keep an open mind • Stay humble • Build empathy for others who fail • Build confidence in your resilience • Build practical recovery skills • Make failure less scary & embarrassing MANAGERIAL BEST PRACTICES • Iterate Faster & Smaller • Celebrate Failure • Share & Learn from Failure • Habitually Challenge the Status Quo • Hire & Train Sherlocks and Wackos
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