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Winning by Failing

Monday, January 28, 2008 by Slaughter Development

Paul Brown of the New York Times recently tackled why failure may be better than success. “If everything goes right all the time,” he explains, “you are less likely to try something new.”

Richard Farson and Ralph Keyes, authors of “Whoever Makes the Most Mistakes Wins: The Paradox of Innovation,” contend that failure should be looked at as a positive way to learn, grow, confidently take risks and develop solutions creatively. This may sound like the advice of parents everwhere, but researchers at the Harvard Business School and Vanderbilt University back these claims and are studying why it is hard for people to learn from their mistakes.

At Slaughter Development, we embrace stumbling and crawling as part of the process of learning to walk. Failure is simply information to try something different. No business or individual should expect perfection without trial and error. No system or approach, however ideal for the present moment, should be immune from refinement or reinvention. Mistakes are signposts along the roadway called improvement. While we will never reach that perfect destination, stopping and convincing ourselves we have arrived means we are stuck at permanent failure. Rewards come from taking risks, and risks from taking chances, learning lessons, and continuing onward.

If your organization is ready for change, contact Slaughter Development today. Keeping your processes the same as they have always been may be safe, but opportunity for growth arises from the willingness to accept risks and pursue success.

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Like this post? Here are some related entries from The Methodology Blog you might enjoy:

Failure: The Secret to Success - Making a decision at work sometimes feels like sliding a quarter down a slot machine. Every chance taken is a gamble between success and failure. But without placing bets or playing cards, can we find success and make our dreams reality? Read on »
Failure, Risk and Success - Cathie Black, chairman of Hearst Magazines, recently published a book that unveils her secrets to success. Interestingly enough, much like Slaughter Development, her tips encourage readers to embrace failure and take risks. Read on »
Failing Expectations - Regardless of position or title, the inability to reach full potential in a job could create problems that have consequences. This applies even if the job is to run, throw and catch. Read on »
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