A man’s mistakes are his portals of discovery. – James Joyce
There are two barriers to experimentation:
1. Inner fear of failure
2. Outer pressure of not accepting mistakes
A leader holds a lot of responsibility for the second. How we approach our people when something goes wrong will set the basis for what happens in the future. If we’re impatient, quick to judge, we take away an important opportunity to learn. However if we accept failure, this will give a safe place for the team to keep working on better solutions.
One needs to make mistakes in order to learn how to deal with them. We can’t get good at anything without actually doing it – and it’s rare to get it right the first time.
Mistakes can also have unexpected results. Like the classic example of post-it’s accidental discovery, or an ink blot when composing music.
Some companies go as far as celebrating failures with the same ferocity as they celebrate successes. In today’s fast-moving business, we all need ideas, improvements. How can we expect them if failures are frowned upon?