When being innovative and trying out new ideas, failure becomes inevitable and a part of our lives. That is why a complex, fast-paced world demands from us that we accept our mistakes and learn from them and adapt rapidly.
The recipe for successful adaptation to failure:
- Try new things. Expose yourself to lots of different ideas and try lots of different approaches, on the grounds that failure is common,
- Experiment where failure is survivable. Look for experimental approaches, where there is lots to learn - projects with small downsides but bigger upsides,
- Recognize when you haven’t succeeded. The third principle is the easiest to state and the hardest to stick to: know when you have failed.
- Gather feedback. Feedback is essential for determining, which experiments have succeeded, and which have failed. Get multiple opinions,
- Remove emotions from the equation. It is important to be dispassionate. Forget whether you are ahead or behind, and try to look at the likely costs and benefits of continuing from where you are,
- Don’t get too attached to your plan. There’s nothing wrong with a plan, but remember that no plan survives first contact with the enemy,
- Create safe spaces to fail. The best failures are the private ones you commit in the confines of your own room, with no strangers watching.
- Practice disciplined pluralism. Markets work by this process, encouraging the exploration of many new ideas as well as the ruthless weeding out of the ones that fall short,
- Find “a safe space to fail as a state of mind.” Assuming that you don’t operate a nuclear power plant for a living, you can probably infuse a bit more freedom and flexibility into your workday,
- Imitate the college experience. College is an amazing safe space to fail. We are experimenting with new friends, new hobbies, and new ideas, and we’ll often mess up.
Rapp, S. (2019). Why Success Always Starts With Failure. Retrieved from 99U. https://99u.adobe.com/articles/37669/if-youre-not-failing-youre-not-growing