Today, I read a blog by Seth Godin on How to fail. In this blog, he talks about how to fail better. He also mentions that not trying new things due to fear of failure is also not a good option. He also goes on and provides some random ideas that will help you fail better, more often and with an inevitably positive upside.
With more and more organizations looking to innovate more often and much faster, it is not enough to know how to fail. It is important to encourage employees to take on the risk of failure. The perception of failure needs to be changed. One of the ways, organizations can do this is by celebrating failures. I am not suggesting that you go out on the roof and party to celebrate failures. One suggestion is to have a project or idea closure party. The agenda on the party could be:
- Announce the closure of the project or idea.
- List all the positives coming out of the project. Be realistic. Employees willing to take the risk to be on the project could also be a positive.
- Discuss why things did not work out as expected.
- Share your learning’s from the project.
- Celebrate the fact that the team had the initiative to start something new and the courage to admit that things were not working out.
- Help the team find different projects where they can start a new chapter in their career.
This if done consistently sends out the message to employees that it is important to take initiatives though there might be a risk of failure. It is also fine to fail as long as you accept that things are not working out as early as possible and move on.