Go Ahead & Fail: Learning from Failure

sunsetFor most people, it’s difficult to admit to failure, mostly because we tend to view failure as a bad thing. It’s because somewhere along the way, the word failure became personal; people think that when they fail, it reflects back on them as a person and that they are somehow insufficient or lacking because of their mistakes.

That doesn’t have to be the case.

As innovator Ben Shaffer says in his presentation on failure, you can’t get to the ground-breaking ideas without building off of the bad ones. Failure isn’t dangerous. The real danger of failure is not learning from it.

Here are a few things to keep in mind on failure and the workplace:

  • Create a space where it is safe to try and fail: If your employees don’t feel like they can pitch new ideas or try new approaches, they won’t. Their ideas will be kept to themselves—ideas that could possibly promote your business or help out a client in trouble. Let your employees know that it is safe to think aloud.
  • Learn from mistakes: It isn’t just about reflecting on the mistake or reviewing what happened. Dig into the mistake. Break it down into parts. What can still be used? What needs to be thrown away? Failure can be good. Failure can lead to positive results.
  • Don’t be afraid to take a risk: Risk is key to innovation. Innovation won’t flourish with only a team or department in your business. It must be something every individual in your business is a part of in order for it to be successful. Risk taking should be encouraged (within reason, of course).
  • Trust your employees: This goes back to why hiring is crucial for the development of your business. You know your employees and what they are capable of. Trust them to come up with new ideas and to learn from the ones that didn’t work out.

Great things can come out of failure. It just depends on how you analyze and respond to the failure.

Here at Integrated Consulting Group, we specialize in the design, development, and customization of SAP Human Capital Management business software for leading edge North American companies with global reach. Have any questions about SAP? Feel free to contact us via the contact page of our site, or on Twitter or LinkedIn. We’d love to hear from you.

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